Name: Steve Nearmyer
1. Please introduce yourself and explain why you are running for school board.
I am a farmer who has lived in this community my entire life. My wife Jenny and I have two daughters and 5 grandchildren who have all attended or are currently attending PCM. I have been on the school board for 10 years.
I’m running for the school board because I want to have a positive impact not only on my grandchildren’s education but all current and future PCM students.
2. What’s the best quality of PCM schools? What can the district improve on?
PCM has a multitude of great qualities. We have quality teachers that care about our students, we strive for small class sizes, and we are always looking for ways to grow. I also believe that PCM is fortunate that the communities they serve care about the school district and want to see it prosper.
As a district, we should always be looking for ways to improve. That should never stop. In the immediate future, I think the district can improve on communication and transparency at all levels. Giving more information in a timely manner on decisions being made and involving stakeholders along the way. Major decisions can’t be made with little to no notice to the community, parents, teachers, and board members.
3. What challenges do you see in public schools and how do you propose to address them?
We have been challenged in filling teacher positions. While not isolated completely to our district, I think we need to continue to look at ways to attract new teachers and retain the ones we have. I think conducting stay interviews with our current staff and exit interviews with those that are leaving can give the board and community insight so improvements can be made.
4. Where would you like to see PCM grow?
I would like to see all elementary grades combined as soon as next year. We have seen the success from the combination of 4th and 5th grade already and I am ready to take that further.
I also think it is important to offer more career and technical classes within the entire district.
5. What is a parent’s role in the educational system?
I see parents as a partner to the educational system.The school and parents all have the same goal — to see a child succeed. We should be involving parents as much as possible.We should build those relationships with parents every step of the way and when major decisions are being made, we should give parents an opportunity to voice concerns beforehand.
6. What other school issues are you most passionate about?
I am very passionate about finding ways to increase learning and assessment scores across the district. Also, I want to have a financially sound district while still promoting building projects and other necessary improvements. I know that there has been discussion around asking for another bond to make improvements. I want to make sure with our existing bond that we do this in a financially sound way.