On Tuesday, April 5, FHSD held a school board election for the expiring terms of board members Amy McEvoy and Cynthia Bice. Michelle Walker, Kimberlyann Granger, former board member Mike Hoehn and incumbent Cynthia Bice were on the ballot. The election resulted in two new school board members, Michelle Walker and Mike Hoehn, being elected.
Hoehn was elected to the board previously in 2008 before being replaced in 2014 by current member Rene Cope. He ran again in the last election and now has the opportunity to serve on the board once more. Walker, who has been unofficially involved in district politics for a little over a year, is looking forward to being more directly involved in the district decision making process.
“My plan is to continue attending the board meetings, same as I’ve been doing for over a year now, and to really just continue building bridges and get rid of the partisan politics on the board,” Walker said.
FHN teachers are excited to see what sort of changes will be coming from the school board with the two new additions.
“I am looking forward to a commitment to working together in order to face our financial challenges and to continue being a fantastic district,” German teacher Anne McPartland said.
With the large number of issues that many feel are facing the FHSD community, teachers are especially interested in making sure they have the ability to get what is necessary for the students of FHSD.
“[I think that the most important issue for teachers is going to be] making sure that we have the resources to meet the various needs of our students,” Susan Niederberger, Political Action Director for the Teachers’ Association, said. “Our district is dealing with some budget issues and the state is also cutting funding. Every school district in our area is going after a tax increase. FHSD wants to maintain student achievement- keeping up to date with the latest technology and textbooks- and we’re going to have to figure out how to do that with the same local funding and less state funding.”
The new school board members were sworn in at the board meeting on Thursday, April 7.
Leading up to the election, in order to ensure that the community knew where each of the candidates stood, there was a meet the candidates night held at FHC on Wednesday, March 30, six days before the election. At the event, students moderated a debate between the four candidates, and answered questions posed by the community members in attendance.
“I think these kind of events are important so our community members can see what each of the candidates’ beliefs are before they vote,” attendee Jill Emelander said. “I know my vote was swayed by what they said up there.”