Sarah J. Bullock, 37: Village of Carthage

Family and community are important aspects of Sarah J. Bullock’s life.

The Village of Carthage community development director said when she began the job in May, she knew she would stay in the north country, noting Lewis County has become her home.

The variety of her work and the challenges of finding solutions, keeps her motivated.

“Every day it’s something different and there’s always the next big project to tackle,” Mrs. Bullock said. The people she works with also motivate her.

“I’m so impressed with the community,” she said. “The people
who volunteer to help better the community and have a
high level of talent poured into that involvement.”

Her role as a community developer inspires her to be more involved in her community.

“Knowing what goes into planning gives you a deeper understanding,” she said. “Every day at work I realize the value of being involved in the community. There is a lot of value if you are able to do it.”

It has been her family who have shaped who she is.
It is her 3-year-old daughter Julia who gets her out of bed in the morning — “sometimes earlier than I’m ready for,” the first-time mother admits.

It is her husband Michael who gives her the best advice.

“He’s my go to guy — he understands me more than anyone,” Mrs. Bullock said.

Her older brother was her mentor while she was growing up.

“He was the only brother who went to college and he lectured me on the importance of picking the right college,” she said noting her brother, William Curley, is now a very successful agriculture economist in the dairy industry.

Her mother gave the best advice, which she has followed.
“My mom recognized I had high standards for myself and others,” Mrs. Bullock said. “She told me it’s not fair to hold others to the same standards I hold myself.”

She said she has passed this advice on to others.

In addition, she said her mother had married young and was a stay-at-home mom raising a large family.

“Mom said a girl should not immediately leave her parents’ house and go to her husband’s,” Mrs. Bullock said. “I married at 29. I lived alone after college, built a career and built myself.”

She said this is advice she would pass on to her daughter.
Mrs. Bullock said people she works with would be surprised to learn she grew up on a dairy farm, she is one of nine children — the only girl — and showed cows through 4-H.

“When I tell people I’m from Pennsylvania they think I’m from a city. I never thought I would end up in a rural community but I can’t wait for my daughter to get older so she can join 4-H and show cows,” she said. “I am the second to last child. My mom’s nickname for me was ‘Drill Sergeant.’”

Throughout her journey in life, she has learned to stand up to that nickname more.

“I was introverted through high school and college – very quiet and meek. I didn’t voice any strong opinions,” she admitted. “Over the course of the last 15 years, I have developed stronger opinions and am not afraid to voice them. But have learned to do so diplomatically. I am now more outspoken and am not afraid to ask questions and speak the truth.”

Probably because she likes herself, it was hard to imagine trading places with another for a day – maybe a teacher at Hand-in-Hand cuddling babies all day but then there would be the not-so-pleasant task of changing diapers. She also mused about being a political commenter arguing with politicians all day. But in the end she would want to be a professional athlete – a runner.

“I would love a day where I do nothing but work out. I know to some that sounds ridiculous, but I just never have the time to work out as much as I want to. Actually, that is what made me think of it yesterday – I didn’t get my run in!” Mrs. Bullock said.

She wishes someone would start a soup restaurant like the Souper Bowl in Amherst, Mass.

“I would want to go there every day to eat it,” she said.

— Elaine Avallone

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The Sarah J. Bullock File

Hometown: Turin; originally Montrose, Pa.

Professional position: Community development director

Family: Husband, Michael R.; daughter, Julia M., 3

Education: Bachelor’s in environmental science, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pa., master’s in public administration, Marist College, Poughkeepsie

Community involvement: Board member, Carthage Industrial Development Corporation; president, Board of Directors for Hand-in-Hand Early Childhood Center, Lowville; lector and catechist, St. Mary’s Church, Constableville

Last book read: “Bears in the Night” by Stan and Jan Berenstain; “And the Good News Is …: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” by Dana Perino