Victoria News chats with Milestone Woman Sherri Bell, president and CEO of Camosun College
Victoria News: If you weren’t in your current career, what would you be doing?
SB: In my career, I’ve had a broad range of educational positions from teaching to instructing through to administration. I can’t see myself doing anything outside of education. It’s been my passion since I was a young child.
VN: What have you learned as you mature that you’d like to share with a ‘younger you’?
SB: The thing that I’ve learned the most is to understand yourself, be self-reflective and know what your strengths and weakness are – but realize that your weaknesses don’t have to define who you are. There are strategies and ways to overcome anything so you can focus on your own personal growth.
VN: The one thing you’d like to do better?
SB: Who knew typing would become such an integral part of our daily work. When I was in high school, I passed on the opportunity of taking a typing class. That’s my excuse for not knowing my way around a keyboard!
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VN: For what traits would you like to be remembered?
SB: My passion is student learning. I’ve made an effort to help students – regardless of their age level – to achieve their goal. I really believe that given the right supports everyone can achieve what they want to and collectively in education we need to provide the right supports that a student needs at that time to get them to where they want to go. I would want to be remembered as a caring, compassionate person who led in a really authentic and caring way.
VN: What do people look to you for guidance about?
SB: I like to go into first-year classes at Camosun where I ask the instructor or students what they want me to talk about. They always want to hear about my story and things that I have had to overcome as a leader. Particularly, being a woman in leadership. They want to know what it was like being a woman moving through my career and if I knew I wanted to be a president of a college. And of course, no, I didn’t set out to become a superintendent or a college president, I wanted to teach and make a difference in the lives of learners.
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