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Vera Cole: On Her Qualifications

I'm an engineer and teacher. I have lived in the district for 33 years, in Kintnersville and West Rockhill. I have family in the area and my granddaughter is a proud graduate of the Quakertown School District.
I have degrees in mechanical and industrial engineering, and a phd in information science. Took me eight years to get my first degree, paying my own way and always working. Got a little easier after that, with a scholarship to work in manufacturing at Motorola, and then a National Science Foundation scholarship to go to Drexel.
After a career in industry, I taught at Penn State as lead faculty for Energy and Sustainability Policy. The program was online (before Covid). Most of my students were adults, coming back to school, with a lot of different backgrounds and experience. We had a weekly schedule but not a specific class time so we could be in different time zones. I had students all over the country, and around the world. Many were actively serving overseas. Heroes. I loved this work. I like to think students learned from me, but I know I learned from them. They taught me how many different ways there are to look at everything. They asked questions that made me think twice about things I thought I was sure of. I got better and better at listening, at talking about complicated things in everyday language, and getting along with all kinds of people. 
I have deep appreciation for the hard work of running a small businesses. My late husband started a business in West Rockhill Township that he sold to employees. It's still here and continues to thrive. I am so proud of that, for of all of them. I remember the hard times, and how he would worry about the families counting on him. 
I served for many years on the West Rockhill Conservation Committee where I contributed to the preservation of family farms and local natural treasures.
I was president of the grassroots non-profit Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association, where I taught solar courses, including hands-on installation workshops. 
I retired early from these endeavors when my husband was diagnosed with ALS, to be with and care for him. For many years I cared for my late father who struggled bravely with mental illness. 
To me, these are all important qualifications for serving us in Harrisburg. I have the education and experience to work with others on complex problems where we need to listen to one another, get along, and figure things out. I am ready and eager to work with the working families and small businesses that are the backbone of our communities. I know how to listen with my heart to people in need and take practical action when it can help.

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