Parks chosen to fill SC school board vacancy

SWARTZ CREEK — The Swartz Creek Community Schools Board of Education has appointed Alissa Parks to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Treasurer Michael Ahearne.

Parks will serve as a trustee. The board will appoint one of the sitting members to step into the treasurer’s post in August.

If Parks wishes to retain her seat on the school board, she will have to run in the November 2022 election.

Parks was one of nine candidates, including three who sought election last November. Board members interviewed all nine hopefuls during the Wednesday, July 21, meeting.

Parks told the board she moved to the Swartz Creek community 17 years ago and lives on the family farm. She has two sons, one of whom graduated from Swartz Creek and attends Michigan State University; the other is a sophomore at SCHS.

“I work a very challenging job out of town, so I haven’t been involved as much as I would like,” Parks said, later adding that she will be working part-time beginning this fall in order to commit more time to her family and community.

“I’ve attended some board meetings and seen some online,” she said. “I sit on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the bond, and I’ve been able to go to most of those meetings. Sometimes, my job makes it so I can’t attend in person.”

She said she also has been involved in her sons’ athletic programs, including lacrosse, as well as their classrooms and PTO.

She described herself as data-driven; and, she plans to make decisions based on qualitative and quantitative data.

Parks also hopes to help improve community engagement by reaching out to parents and students, building relationships and offering ideas.

“I consult with boards and committees on how to improve and better collaborate,” she said. “I have 20-plus years of experience doing that type of work, so I feel I have some skills to offer.

“As an individual board member, I have a high degree of integrity. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it as well as I can with a high degree of integrity, and ask hard questions. Ethics, curiosity, love for learning … and I love policy, and education policy in particular.

“I really enjoy analyzing and talking through the hard questions. It’s hard to balance serving every student in their individual learning style with all these standards and policies…but I enjoy that type of challenge.”