The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

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Samantha Soltysiak Is a Teacher and Parent Who Manages an Irregular and Hectic Schedule

On+Dec.+15%2C+in+an+honors+biology+class%2C+Mrs.+Soltysiak+helps+freshman+Aaron+Visnack+with+his+murder+mystery+blood+type+lab.
Credit to Jupiter Stephens and Violet Newton
On Dec. 15, in an honors biology class, Mrs. Soltysiak helps freshman Aaron Visnack with his murder mystery blood type lab.

Being a tennis coach, science teacher and full-time parent is no simple task. Samantha Soltysiak does this all while simultaneously deciding how to juggle an active personal and professional balance. Soltysiak occasionally spends extra time at school, complicating her family’s schedule.

“I work over contract hours,” Soltysiak said. “Sometimes I’m here anywhere up to six o’clock at night prepping for labs. So, it’s pretty inconsistent with my preps that I have.”

In addition to her irregular schedule, Soltysiak’s husband Ben McMahon is a fireman for the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District. Unlike other professions, firefighters spend days on end at a fire station rather than returning home each night. McMahon works for two days straight and then has a four day break. On top of his non-traditional work schedule, McMahon is periodically required to complete additional work.

“He sometimes gets forced overtime,” Soltysiak said. “So, if they are at the firehouse and it’s his second day there, he could be forced to work [extra] if he’s present.”

With busy schedules, challenges are likely to come up. On days when her children don’t have daycare and her husband is working, Soltysiak is forced to improvise to ensure her kids have supervision.

“We have daycare Monday, Wednesday and Fridays but it’s only part-time,” Soltysiak said. “We sometimes get into situations where we may have to take off of work a day to make sure there’s childcare for the kids. Sometimes, I have had to bring my kids into school to hang out with me for the day.”

Soltysiak still manages to provide essential services for her students and athletes despite her schedule challenges.

“I really admire Mrs. Soltysiak because she seems very stressed, but is always able to bring everything together at the end,” junior Angel Tolota, who is a part of the tennis team and is a former student of Soltysiak, said.

Even with a hectic schedule, Soltysiak and her husband have found ways to keep themselves afloat and learn from the chaosin their lives.

“I have definitely built time management and organizational strategies,” Soltysiak said. “My husband and I have had to communicate on every aspect and level to make sure that all bases are covered. I think that it’s taught me to be resilient to that, although it’s tough. In the moment, it’s still worth it.”

Soltysiak uses her developed skills to enjoy her busy schedule as much as possible.

“In the end, like when tennis season is over, and I’ve had a successful season, my kids are still talking about the match that they went to or whatever. To me, that is a fulfilling feeling,” Soltysiak said. “So, just stick it out, because you end up feeling very happy in life and feeling like what you’re doing, there’s a purpose to it. Also, it has always kept me on my toes. I think, although I look like I’m aging, it keeps me young.”

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