Name: Samantha Van Wyk
Occupation: Senior Corporate Accounts Analyst
1. Please introduce yourself and explain why you are running for school board.
I live in the Monroe area with my husband, Marc, and our three children, Lincoln (8), Memphis (6), and Josephine (3). I have been involved with many volunteer activities with the school over the last four years when my oldest son started preschool. I had the opportunity to serve in Monroe Elementary PTA leadership, as well as contribute to the joining efforts of combining our Parent Teacher Organization with Prairie City to create our PCM Elementary PTO. I was happy to serve as President for PCM Elementary PTO last year.
When our school district provided the opportunity to our community to serve on the Elementary Vision Team, I was passionately diligent to serve our school district with focus on our future. After many working sessions, community forums, and presenting to our school board, our district was able to provide improved learning opportunities to our younger students.
By being involved in our school district in these capacities, I have been able to gain a better understanding of the needs of our students, teachers, and community. I am running for school board to help build a strong future for our youth.
2. What’s the best quality of PCM schools? What can the district improve on?
PCM comes from two thriving communities while still feeling like a small town where you see familiar faces at the home football game. Some of PCM’s greatest assets are the innovative, passionate educators and administrators. They can identify the needs and opportunities for our school district due to our close-knit size. While our size and environment are some of our greatest assets, we need to be able to respond to these needs of the school district with agility and intentionality.
3. What challenges do you see in public schools and how to you propose to address them?
One of the main challenges I see in public schools is keeping parents informed on the needs of our district, the decisions being made, and the plans of growth for the future. As a district, we want accurate information flowing to and from our parents and community members.
4. Where would you like to see PCM grow?
I am in support of PCM’s growth towards improving our performance profile ratings at all grade levels. This could include continuing to expand our early childhood experience, elementary alignment for equity among all students, providing more expanded learning opportunities for our middle/high schoolers and improvement of facilities and resources in our schools.
5. What is a parent’s role in the educational system?
I think a parent’s role is to stay informed and be an active participant in their child’s learning journey. It is vital for there to be constructive communication between the parent and school. It is a team effort with the same goal in mind: the student’s education.
6. What other school issues are you most passionate about?
I want our district to remember how strong we are TOGETHER. Rather than dividing ourselves as Prairie City families, Monroe families, Reasnor families… we are PCM families. We are stronger together. I will strive towards a strong PCM district. #strongertogether