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Seven candidates file for upcoming Board of Education election

Seven candidates file for upcoming Board of Education election

Candidate filing for the April 4, 2023 election to the Francis Howell School District Board of Education was open from Dec. 6 – Dec. 27, 2022. The terms of current Board members Patrick Lane, Mary Lange and Doug Ziegemeier will expire in April 2023. 

Board candidates are listed below in the order they will appear on the ballot. All information has been provided by the candidate. Bios and photos are unedited and appear here exactly as submitted. 

Read more about the Board Election process here. 

Meet the Candidates

DOUG ZIEGEMEIER
It has been an honor to serve this District over the past three years, and I am hoping to gain your support again. First and foremost, I am a father of 3 amazing kids and a lucky husband of a wonderful wife. My experiences as a former law enforcement officer, current business owner and adjunct professor put me in a unique position to understand the complexities of school policy, law, and budgets that govern our district. I know these experiences have helped me be a balanced leader. This is evident in the leadership that I have brought forward over the past three years. I am proud to have been part of the hard work that kept our schools open during the pandemic, while also offering options to families for online learning. The bottom line is that balanced leadership is vital for our district, not hyper partisan politics. I know there are concerns about “Prop S” finances. Some issues were unavoidable (COVID), while others required the Board to make changes in leadership.  Please reach out with any questions. Lastly, I am proud that our District is currently ranked 8th in the state and #1 in the County (Niche, nationally recognized ranking).

 

ANDREW FLETT
My name is Andrew Flett. I was raised in Salem, a small, rural river town in South Central Missouri, by veteran parents. A football scholarship brought me to Lindenwood University, where I met my wonderful wife, Kate. We both fell in love with the St. Charles area, where we are raising our two children. After earning an education degree, I spent nearly a decade working with high risk students in special education and academic reassignment classrooms. It was in the classroom that I cultivated a passion for helping children who might not have the ability to fight or communicate for themselves. That passion drives me to pursue this opportunity to make Francis Howell a better school for ALL by focusing on strong mental health initiatives in and out of the classroom.

 

 

AMY EASTERLING
Amy and her husband, Ray, moved to the St. Louis area in 2002 and have been residents of St. Charles and the Francis Howell School district since 2003.  They have 2 children who have attended public schools in the district. Amy has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a master’s degree in Operations Research from Virginia Tech. In her 25+ year career, Amy has worked for several large companies in various consulting, Project/Program management, and delivery roles.  She currently works for a Fortune 500 company, where she manages delivery activities for a large customer.  Amy is recognized as a collaborative leader and has a consistent track record of managing large teams and successful multi-million-dollar projects. In her free time, Amy enjoys hiking, travel, and spending time with her family.  She is an active member of Kirkwood Baptist Church, where she serves as a deacon, sings in the choir, teaches youth Bible study, and has spent several terms as chair of the Finance committee.  On a Saturday morning, you can often find Amy enjoying a solo hike on local Saint Charles trails.  She dreams of visiting all 7 continents - 2 down so far!

 

JANE PUSZKAR
I am a wife, mother of 2, grandmother of 2 beautiful granddaughters and have lived in the Francis Howell School District for over 20 years.  I have a degree in Accounting, an MBA, and, I am a retired nurse, therefore, I am heavily invested in education. As a school board member, I will focus on accountability, transparency, parents’ rights, and child safety. First, our finite tax dollars should be spent wisely and efficiently without massive overruns. Second, we need transparency of what is being taught in our schools. There is nothing more precious than our children, and it’s important what they are being taught. Our children deserve a quality education with the basics. I believe in parents’ rights and believe they have the right to know what their children are being exposed to in the classroom. Every child deserves a safe environment in which to learn. I support our dedicated teachers and thank them for their hard and never-ending work. I read recently that the Valedictorians in FHSD are not recognized at graduation, and I believe they should be. I’ll work hard to change that and get FHSD back in the top 10 in Missouri. Please visit my website: VoteforJanePuszkar.org.

 

MARK PONDER
I am a father of 2 just starting out in FHSD and a resident of St. Charles for over a decade. As a board member, it will be my duty to provide the students of FHSD every opportunity to excel academically, be challenged at their level, and have a truly great experience. I will ensure support for teachers, the parents are included and given transparency, provide fiscal responsibility, and the academics/curriculum are supported by logic, truth and facts.
The obvious irresponsibility with Prop S spending is an atrocity and it’s obvious that changes need to be made due to the board’s lack of oversight and transparency.
It is apparent the teachers need more support, time and tools, that will be provided. Their job is incredibly important and stressful, and I’ll do all I can to ensure their needs are met.
My promise to the teachers, students, and administration is to always listen, not just hear, and be their pragmatic voice when the challenges and stresses of the day become overwhelming. This, in turn, will provide the best possible outlook when addressing the challenges and curriculum/academic advances of the district. Please visit www.voteforponder.com to learn more about me and my views.

 

RON HARMON
My wife and I are 24-year residents of the Francis Howell School District (FHSD) and community.  We have raised five children in this community with three having graduated from the FHSD.  My wife teaches second grade at a private school, and I am an engineer at a local construction contractor.  We have always been active in our children’s education and activities including Parents As Teachers, the early childhood education program, coaching them in their various sports, and volunteering for school activities.  I look to share what I have learned through my involvement with the schools and in the construction industry to help guide the FHSD.  Fiscal responsibility needs to be front and center in this district.  Hard choices are coming in this district regarding the operating budget, capital budgets, and Prop S priorities.  Prop S overruns clearly show that a change is needed in the school board if responsible decisions are going to be made with taxpayer money.  I am aware of the passion that teachers have for their students and the time spent preparing for the classroom.  I want to make sure a curriculum is in place that supports those teachers in their passion – teaching.  My website is ronharmonfhsb.com.

 

HARRY HARRIS
My family has been a part of the Francis Howell community for more than seven years.  I’m a strong believer that our district is a leading one in St. Charles County because of our students, teachers, and staff.  Growing up in the St. Louis area, my mom instilled in me the importance of education in creating a future for myself.  That belief in education is what led me to spending my entire career in higher education, nearly 20 of those years at the University of Missouri St. Louis.   I’ve decided to run now, because we are at a critical junction where we must choose strong, sound leadership for our school board going forward.  We need positive leaders who respect both students and staff, while looking out for both.  I’ve served on a number of different committees within the district and have spent a lot of time talking with teachers, staff, and administrators on ideas to improve the district. I strongly believe I have the skill set to address these issues and more.  I’m looking forward to meeting community members and discussing ideas on what we can do to make our district the best it can be.

Website: http://www.harryforhowell.com
Email: harryforhowell@yahoo.com