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Jane Puszkar

Jane Puszkar

1. Why do you want to be on the board? 

I want to make a positive impact and demand fiscal responsibility of the Board. Starting construction on a high school before knowing the true total costs to me is not good stewardship of the taxpayer
funds that are entrusted to the School Board’s care. I also want to help return our district to the top 10 ranking they once held and help our children go back to the basics: science, reading, math. For those that want to learn a trade, I would like to ensure that those children are supported and encouraged to excel.

2. What is a current issue in our district that you would address if elected?

There’s more than one issue that I will address, however, some of the highest on my list are to ensure our children’s safety, which includes removing pornography, stopping sexual indoctrination, and stopping our children from being taught to look at their classmates through the lens of color and creating a victim and an oppressive atmosphere.

3. How would you like our district to be viewed from an outside perspective?

I would like to return our ranking to the top 10 where it used to be. FH has enjoyed a great reputation and has drawn many new families to settle here. I would like FH to be known for its academic excellence.

4. What do you plan to do about continued funding issues in our district?

In a time where FH has received the highest funding ever, I would like to see accountability and transparency. After those issues are addressed, I would like to ensure that our tax dollars are spent wisely and  that teachers are given the resources that they need in order to be successful. Success will be defined, per school policy,

5. How do you plan to keep top-quality teachers from leaving the district despite several pay freezes over the last 10 years or so?
I don’t believe pay is the only part of the equation that causes teachers to leave for other schools, for other professions, or to retire early. After speaking to several teachers, there are also other reasons for leaving that need to be addressed. The reasons include the lack of discipline and the ability to enforce it, the intimidation and/or disrespect given to the teachers by the parents and the burn out that occurs  when a teacher works hard and is unable to be effective in the classroom because of the distractions and interruptions. On the Francis Howell website, it states: “Our teachers’ salaries are highly  competitive, especially for first-year teachers. Through negotiations with our teachers’ union, we have offered salary increases in a number of unique ways. This resulted in the step numbers on our schedule no longer correlating with years of experience. New teachers to FHSD are placed on the same the step as teachers in FHSD with the same years of experience. The maximum step a teacher can enter the schedule is step 9.” Not all things are fixed by “more money.” I believe that the Francis Howell School District should continually search area school districts to ensure that ours is competitive and at this point, it appears to be. I am not against teachers getting more money, but before I approve more money, I would like exit interviews to help disclose exactly why a teacher is leaving and if it because of money or another unrelated issue. From that perspective, we can then figure out the most important issue for a teacher’s departure.

6. Do you plan to do something about the accumulating issues with our school’s functionality, including the frequent flooding, leaking, and plumbing issues?

It’s extremely unfortunate that after the monetary receipts of Prop S, that the current Board didn’t address the many immediate flooding, leaking and plumbing issues. The physical condition of the schools can contribute or detract from from student safety. This leaking, etc., only detracts from the safety of our children, and once elected, I will make a positive impact on these issues that should never have
occurred in the first place. As I have stated numerous times, our children’s safety is on top of my list of importance.

7. How do you plan to increase the amount of janitorial staff?

Will you offer more benefits, pay or keep the rates the same? There is definitely a shortage of workers overall and FH is not the only employer facing these shortages. Most employers offering $15 per hour do  not give benefits, but FH does. I believe that the starting pay and benefits is not a deterrent and is higher than many of the custodian positions that I have searched. For full time employees, a lunch voucher could be given to custodians. That is an inexpensive (to the district) option. I also believe that there should be more of a presence of digital marketing to gain visibility of open positions. I noticed that when I tried to link from the FH site to FB, it stated that FH had opted out of advertising on FB.

8. A student brought a gun to FHC in early February, how can the district improve on safety that was lacking before?

The fact that another student spoke up to reveal the fact that a classmate had a gun speaks volumes of the education that FH has done to ask kids to speak up when they see that something isn’t right or as it should be. I believe it also speaks volumes of the staff/authorities that believed this child and acted. More teaching/coaching should be done to heighten the awareness so that no child believes it’s ok to bring a gun to school. Considering that a child may still decide to commit an unlawful act such as bringing a gun to school, school resource officers should be present and available at games to determine that weapons are not brought on campus.

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