Holding on to childhood magic

 In News

3-minute read

Get to know Clark’s executive cabinet. The leaders of the college have long titles and lots of degrees, but they’re also … people. Each month we’ll feature a story about these individuals so you can learn a little more about the people leading Clark College. Read the previous profiles of Dr. Michele CruseBrad Avakian, and Vanessa Neal.

Outside of work, Clark’s VP of operations, Sabra Sand, is a soccer mom and Disney aficionado

As Clark’s vice president of operations, Sabra Sand works to keep the college functioning smoothly. When she leaves campus, she works to keep her daughter’s soccer teams functioning smoothly, too.

Sand is more than a soccer mom, she’s a super sports mom. Her daughter, Alivia, plays on two soccer teams as well as her high school basketball and softball teams.

“I’m not going to lie,” Sand said in a recent interview, “some days I would love to be home before 10 p.m.”

But Sand isn’t complaining. Her daughter, 16, has her driver’s license.

Sabra Sand with her daughter in Costa Rica in 2022.

Sabra Sand, right, with her daughter, Alivia, in Costa Rica in 2022. Photo by Sabra Sand

“She prefers me to drive her,” Sand added, “and I will take that time because I know you only have it for so long.”

These days, Sand is holding fast to the remaining years of Alivia’s childhood. She supports her daughter’s jam-packed extracurricular schedule, driving her to practices and games, volunteering as a manager of her daughter’s club soccer team and chaperoning the teen athletes to travel games in Nevada, California and Utah. On the road, Sand and the players make the most of their down time by visiting escape rooms and seeing local sites.

“It’s fun,” she said.

Clark in 1998

Sand’s husband played soccer as a child. When Sand was a child, she didn’t have an opportunity to compete on sports teams “or be involved in much of anything,” she said. “I was raised by a single mom with very limited resources. Limited time, limited money.”

Sand began her career at Clark in 1998 in the cashier’s office. Once she got the job, she continued her education at Clark, studying business and accounting. She went on to Washington State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree and attended graduate school. Sand has held several titles at Clark including chief financial officer, director of business services and interim vice president of operations before accepting her current position in 2022.

Outside of work, Sand said her daughter’s athletics consume the whole family’s life.

When Alivia was in middle school, Sand became acutely aware that this phase of parenthood—with her daughter living at home—was finite. The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to accelerate time, Sand added.

Now, Alivia is looking at colleges. Sand is holding on in the meantime, making the most of road trips and nightly commutes with her daughter.

Sabra Sand with her daughter during a 2023 trip to Disneyland.

Sabra Sand, left, with her daughter Alivia, 16, during a 2022 trip to Disneyland. Photo by Sabra Sand

Disney fans

Another way she embraces her daughter’s childhood is through regular family trips to Disneyland.

“We’re huge Disney fans,” she said of her family. “We visit Disneyland at least once a year, many times twice a year.”

Sand’s favorite ride is a classic—The Haunted Mansion. Her daughter loves Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Sand expects that even in adulthood her daughter will happily visit the theme park whenever mom and dad offer to pay. But Sand isn’t taking any chances. Earlier this month, she apologized to her daughter’s coaches for the missed practices and booked tickets for a visit.

“I only have so much time left,” Sand said. “We’re going.”

Story by Lily Raff McCaulou

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