Letter to the Editor: School board candidate stresses community, communication, and collaboration
I am S.A.M. Steiner and I would like to serve on the Marshfield School Board. For my entire adult life, I have been passionate about the welfare of children. Giving all kids a great education is the best way to improve our society; it’s an investment in Marshfield’s future.
Strong schools are an essential asset to attract and grow business. Educated voters make educated choices, creating a healthy, vibrant community. We moved here five years ago, from Portland, OR, where school physical education, art, and music programs got cut to preserve teacher positions.
We struggled to provide our kids with a well-rounded education. The deciding factor that brought us (and many others) to this community was Marshfield’s excellent schools. But I am concerned that could change without careful attention to all the community, communicating with each other, for creative collaboration to serve all kids.
What have I done to help kids? After my bachelors in Zoology and French, I taught high school Biology in Dallas, TX, gaining huge respect for the profession. I was drawn to the 1 on 1 moments when I worked with the kids who needed extra help. Coupled with my love of languages, I shifted to pediatric speech pathology, working in neurorehabilitation at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
After marrying Bob, a pediatric geneticist who had an excellent Wisconsin education K through medical school, we started our family with identical twin girls, moved to Oregon, and were blessed again with two sons.
Parenthood transforms us. For me, I went from “working kids around the career” to raising our family as my first priority. I worked hard in our Portland schools: as a classroom volunteer, site council member, founder/coordinator of an annual variety show and a K-8 art program. Not just for our kids, but for all kids. To that end, we became founding members of a mentoring program called Family of Friends, which places at-risk kids 6-9 years old with a mentor family. David became “our fifth child once a week” for 10 years. Our David earned his diploma and is thriving in the Marines.
In Marshfield, I have served the community as founding coordinator of St John’s Mission Team which helps our friends in Tanzania educate girls, care for orphans and provide health services. I serve on the senior high PBIS committee (Positive Behavioral Incentives and Supports), teach a plant enrichment class to Columbus Catholic second graders each Spring, volunteer with Central Wisconsin Literacy Council, and I served on the New Visions Gallery Board 2014-17.
We were city dwellers, but now we embrace the rural life here in central Wisconsin. We love snowshoeing, tapping maple trees, the spring chorus of peepers on our ponds, managing our woodland trail, and summer night skies full of stars. Our boys have thrived in the Marshfield schools, enjoying sports, music, excellent teachers, the Advanced Placement program, Project Lead the Way, science clubs, community internship program, and so much more. Marshfield has great public schools-let’s keep it that way.
How? Promote communication between all sectors of the Marshfield school community; teach our children healthy technology life habits; provide a school calendar that give students, families and teachers sufficient breaks; maintain regular interaction between school board members, administrators, students, and teachers — just a few of my many ideas!
My demonstrated leadership, commitment to kids, and a fresh perspective will bring community, communication and collaboration to the Marshfield School Board. Vote on April 3.