Havenstrite welcomed to PCM


On July 6, Michelle Havenstrite started her first day as the new superintendent of PCM Community School District. She graduated with a B.A. from Simpson College, a M.A. from Morningside College, and a Specialist Degree from the University of South Dakota. Havenstrite previously worked for seven years at Nashua-Plainfield Elementary School as a principal and at Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency for 16 years. Halfway through the first quarter, Havenstrite is enjoying her work at PCM.
“On a scale from one to 10 I’d give it a 9++ closing to a ten. I love PCM, Prairie City, Monroe, the students I’ve met. I really really enjoy it. I love my work. I get up every day. I’m excited to come,” said Mrs. Havenstrite. “I love learning all the things that you do here. You have some great traditions, and so it’s been really fun. It’s been hard work with Covid, but I would say it’s really fun. So I really really enjoy it.”
Hobbies of Havenstrite’s include walking, reading and biking. This love of the outdoors is one of the characteristics that makes up her personality, but this is overshadowed by her passion for teaching.
“Every child learns and grows; that’s the foundation of what schools are. That’s our premise. All children must be learning and growing, and if they’re not, we’re not doing what we were designed to do, and I’m not just talking about academics. I’m talking socially, emotionally, in your interest, in your passion. I think school systems fail when the kids are done with their journey in a school system if they have not identified their passion or idea or an area they want to explore, and if we haven’t fostered that,” Havenstrite said.
With this year being affected by Covid-19, many issues have arisen for school management. This is especially difficult for Havenstrite, being new to the district. Havenstrite finds it difficult to put together the names of students with faces she has never seen because of masks. It is also difficult for students who have yet to meet her to get to know her from a distance.
“She’s nice. I haven’t really talked to her much, but what I’ve heard about her is all good stuff,” said junior Kyle Sanders.
Superintendents work with principals and teachers alike; however, because of Covid-19, Havenstrite has yet to meet with all teachers in person. Working with a boss you have never met in person can be difficult for many people, but teachers who are working with Havenstrite have had some good things to say about her.
“As a new superintendent I look forward to learning more about her as the school year goes on,” said high school history teacher James Nolin.
Coming from a family of educators, Mrs. Havenstrite knows how important a community is to a school district. “I’ve never seen a strong, growing, thriving community without a strong school system. That stronger together collaboration is very fundamental to who I am, and it’s my belief, not only as an educator but also as a taxpayer in the community and as a member of the community,” Havenstrite said, “that we can only grow stronger if we do it together, not against each other.”