Supt. Lark enjoyed leading dedicated Paw Paw staff that “show up to do the hard work for kids”

By: 
Paul Garrod - news4garrod@vineyardpress.biz
SONIA LARK - Courier-Leader photo/Paul Garrod

    PAW PAW - Following an education career of nearly four decades, the  Paw Paw Public School superintendent plans to retire, effective July 1.
    Sonia Lark said she always wanted to be a teacher, and began her educator/administrator career, first as a teacher’s aide for summer school while a freshman in college, then spent over a decade as a teacher. Finally, she spent 23 years as an administrator, first a principal, a consultant for the ISD, then as  
superintendent at Alma and PPPS.
    The Central Michigan University graduate said that when she  graduated from the Mt. Pleasant, MI, university  in the 1980s, “education jobs were very scarce in Michigan.”
    Fast forward to 2019. “A complete  flip,”said Lark of the  education job opportunities. "Now there is an educator shortage.”
    During the 1980s, Lark said she had friends and classmates move to Texas  for education  job opportunities, or they changed professions entirely.
    As an administrator, Lark said, “I love the study of  leadership.” She said it helps build  the organization, and staff, as well as decision making.
    “I’ve enjoyed helping and supporting other teachers and principals become leaders,” said Lark.
    On her retirement next week, Lark referred to the saying, “Have something to retire to, instead of something to retire from.”
    She has her vision set on the latter. “I will put time into the family. I’ve put everything into my work for so long.”
    Of her 37.5 years in education, Lark said, “Keep the main thing the main thing. And kids are the main thing. Kids are the heart.” Following her retirement from Paw Paw Public Schools, Lark will pursue “hands-on volunteer opportunities,” or “leadership-coaching opportunities.”
    Lark said she has  enjoyed the people and staff at Paw Paw Public  Schools. “This is a very dedicated  staff. They show up and do the hard work for kids,” said Lark.

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