Four fight for two spots on Board of Education

Board of Education elections are held on April 3 this year and elected candidates’ participation in Board decisions and discussions are immediate. Issues on the Board they have to deal with are things from the long-range financial stability of the District to preparing patrons, teachers and students for the revamping of the FHSD curriculum in 2014 to the desire and need for artificial turf at FHN and FHC.

Marty Hodits

With his Director seat on the Board expiring, Marty Hodits is running again for another three year term on the Board to add to the six terms already under his belt. Hodits hopes that whoever may be elected to the Board, the members develop a stronger, more cooperative relationship with each other to have the District’s best interests the biggest concern.

“I care about the students in the District,” Hodits said. “My boys have graduated from the District and are successful. I want our students to do the same thing.”

Hodits’ main focus in FHSD is student learning. This includes providing quality teachers for schools as well as keeping each each grade level on the same page in all FHSD schools.

Hodits also is an advocate for providing spending for extra-curricular activities, such as the new turf fields for FHN
and FHC the Board has been considering.

“We need to improve the education system,” Hodits said, “and we need a forward outlook on it.”

Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson is running for the FHSD Board again when his vice president position expires. He believes there is unfinished business, such as construction at FHHS, that he wants to see completed.

“I’m running to finish ongoing projects,” Johnson said. “To make sure the facilities’ needs are met.”

Johnson believes the District is currently on the right track with everything, including budget and tax rate. Johnson
does want to help prepare patrons, teachers and students for the new unfunded, State mandate of Common Core Standards that will overhaul FHSD’s curriculum in 2014. There is already a task force to begin this preparation.

“The more you put in, the more you get,” Johnson said. “I feel that way with myself.”

Eric Seider

Eric Seider wanted to run for a seat on the Board for about 15 years and first attempted it last year without success. Seider decided to run again in this year’s District elections, and he feels more prepared on many different levels.

“I didn’t realize the amount of money and time it took,” Seider said. “I have another year of experience of working with committees. I learned a lot in campaigning and education in our District.”

One of Seider’s main concerns is the District’s tax levy and how in the coming year, 20 cents are knocked off of the $5.13 tax rate, making it $4.93. He supports a higher tax rate to fund the District’s various expenses on things
such as academics, transportation and teacher salary.

“Education is too important, the kids are too important,” Seider said. “I want people to support the higher tax rate.”

Marie Haupt

Marie Haupt, retired FHSD teacher of 34 years, wants to be on the Board to continue the family tradition started
by her great-grandfather and grandfather, who were both FHSD Board members. This has been an interest of hers for the past 20 years, though she was never able to pursue it due to being an employee of FHSD.

“I know Francis Howell; I know the history of Francis Howell,” Haupt said. “I know why we did the things we did, which ripples into now.”

Haupt wants to keep the curriculum on track, continue to decrease dropout rates, increase graduation rates and help alternative programs like Francis Howell Union.

“I’ve been there; I’ve done it; I know how it all works,” Haupt said. “It’s different when you’ve actually been there,
and you have to deal with Board meetings and the decisions they make.”