Welcoming the Elected District Board Members


District Board of Education Candidates standing together in a line in the Francis Howell Central Auditorium at the Candidate Forum on Wednesday, March 29.

Elected candidates Mrs. Jane Puskar, Mr. Mark Ponder, and Mr. Ron Harmon will become directors of the Francis Howell School District Board of Education once proper training is completed, following the election last Tuesday, April 4.

Graphic by Colin Nichols

The annual candidate forum was held at Francis Howell Central High School on Wednesday, March 29, where the four other candidates, Mr. Andrew Flett, Mrs. Amy Easterling, Mr. Doug Ziegemeier, and Mr. Harry Harris, and the newly elected directors for the Board answered questions asked by the Francis Howell Central Publications and the community. Many people didn’t know who to vote for, but this was the best chance to figure out which of the three candidates they supported.

“I’m ecstatic and honored to have been chosen, and humbled for the support that I’ve been given. I want only what’s best for the Francis Howell School District. My focus is going to be on the students, your children, to create a safe environment in which to learn,” Mrs. Puskar said.

Mrs. Puskar had originally formed the Association of Stroke Coordinators in 2011, a board to improve the care given to stroke victims, and was president for five years. Neither Mr. Ponder nor Mr. Harmon has not previously been on a board. Mr. Ponder said that he loves the process and sees it as an American event.

“I really love the fact that so many people came out to express their right to vote. For or against me, I want people to be a part of this community, to understand what they’re doing, to get out as a cohesive unit and do our civic duty to vote. I always view this as my civic duty, and I’d like to thank everyone for coming out to make this community a better place,” Mr. Ponder said. “They didn’t even know who they were voting for, they just wanted to be a part of the process. I love the fact that people are involved, that people have a say in the community, and I wish more were involved.”

Ron Harmon says he plans to focus heavily on improving the finances of the district and he was misunderstood regarding the process of removing books from school libraries.

“It was a comical rumor that I didn’t want to have any books in the library. I was happy to win, and I want to provide better scrutiny over the finances, and I want to try to raise the bar in the classroom,” Mr. Harmon said.