The election for Virginia Beach City School Board District 2 takes place on November 8, 2022. Prior to the 2022 election, voters could vote for all eleven Virginia Beach School Board seats, regardless of where they live. This is the first school board election where voters will only vote for candidates in their district. There is one at-large seat that is not up for election this year. Amy L. Solares (R) and Alexis Cristy Gerdes (I) will face incumbent Kim Melnyk (D). Melnyk has served on the school board since 2015, and is the current vice chair of the Virginia Beach City School Board and holds the District 7 Princess Anne seat.
Residing in Virginia Beach for over forty years, Democratic incumbent Kim Melnyk is running for reelection to the school board. She believes her experience as a school board member and educator will aid her in advocating for making education a top priority. Melnyk wants to raise teacher pay and provide funding for necessary resources and services for our students. Melnyk intends to fully fund education, address students mental health, and invest in our working families.
Kim Melnyk is passionate about protecting children’s education while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. While Melnyk’s efforts to provide Virginia Beach students with Chromebooks before the closing of schools was a success, she is still concerned with other disparities that plague student learning remotely. She previously built and delivered over 2,000 desks to students in the community who did not have a place to do their school work. She stresses the need to provide access to broadband internet for the whole Commonwealth and continue to make investments in public education so we can improve our schools.
Melnyk, who was a teacher for ten years, is an advocate for teachers. She believes we need someone who believes in public schools and will protect them to serve on school boards. Melnyk campaigned this year to continue her efforts to raise teacher pay and provide school funding for necessary resources and services for the students of Virginia Beach.
Melnyk also advocates for resources that promote positive mental health in the lives of Virginia Beach students and to raise funding for services that support student individual development as well as their learning capabilities. Additionally, Melnyk uses her platform to fight for special education and full-day kindergarten.
Melnyk has been directly impacted by gun violence and supports keeping schools safe by passing common sense gun violence prevention measures like universal background checks, waiting periods for gun purchases, and closing existing loopholes that make it easy to obtain guns. She also wants to ban the sale of ghost guns and keep guns out of the wrong hands of people deemed to be a risk for themselves or others.
Melnyk is running against Amy Solores and Alexis Gerdes.
Republican Amy L. Solares has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Florida State University and a Juris Doctor from Widener University. Frustrated with Virginia Beach’s decision to keep schools closed as a result of COVID, Solares decided to run. We can’t recommend a candidate who would not prioritize student and teacher safety during a global pandemic.
Independent candidate Alexis Gerdes is a military wife and mother of three who wants to see students grow “academically, physically and emotionally for a prosperous future.” Gerdes believes parents should dictate curriculum and teachers shouldn’t be able to teach accurate history in schools. She also wants to bring cops back into schools, which has shown to make schools less safe for students of color.
Kim Melnyk is the most progressive choice for District 2 due to her advocacy of children's mental health and education andher prioritization of teacher needs.