VIRGINIA BEACH — Kim Melnyk, a small business owner and former elementary school teacher who lives in Christopher Farms, is seeking a second term representing the Princess Anne District on the Virginia Beach School Board.
Melnyk, 51, won office as a challenger in 2014. Now she faces a challenge from Paul Day, a retired police officer and a substitute teacher.
Melynk said she wants to continue advancing a successful approach in the schools, including continued support for Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence.
“I’m there to be part of a team of people that’s providing this community with a top notch education,” she said.
It is possible that more people may enter the race. Candidates have until June to file for the November election. Melynk and Day have completed paperwork to run, according to the city Voter Registrar’s Office.
Melnyk taught in city schools for 14 years, including a few years as a long-term substitute teacher after she left her teaching position after the birth of her third child. She said she loves working with young people.
“I always had that calling,” said Melnyk, referring to her time as a teenager in Kempsville. “I probably made more money babysitting than I could do at anything.”
She said she ran initially at the urging of friends who are teachers, and she wants to continue her work with another term. She cited recent accomplishments such as the introduction of full-day kindergarten and the schools strong accreditation record as evidence of schools headed in the right direction. She serves on a legislative committee working with state lawmakers on issues.
“I’m really proud of the passing of full-day kindergarten and preparing these students for the rigors of first grade,” she said. “And I’m not kidding. It’s rigorous.”
Melynk says she supports Spence – and the direction of the city schools – because she values public education.
“He understands the importance of every child, every day,” she said. “Every child deserves the best education. … Kids deserve to have a great childhood. Our job is to provide the best education possible.”
Melnyk said she is part of a board majority making sound decisions, and she said her experience as an educator and as a business owner brings something to that body. She is an advocate for the arts who is involved with the board for the Virginia Musical Theater and the Governor’s School for the Arts.
She said she wants to next work on building relationships with students and making sure there are equitable opportunities for all students throughout the system.
Additionally, she supports efforts to identify ways to make schools more secure, such as a recent task force, and she said she supports greater pay for teachers.
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