Three Candidates Vie for Two Seats in FHSD Board of Education Election

The FHSD board election will be held on April 2 to fill two seats on the board

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Three Candidates Vie for Two Seats in FHSD Board of Education Election

By Leann Smyth, North Star Reporter

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Walker Wants to Give Parents a Voice

Michelle Walker is finishing her first three-year term on the board. She oversees FHN, Henderson and Warren. Her roles as a parent in the District and a taxpayer in the community motivate her to continue her campaign for a second term.

“[I want to run again because of] my daughter, and I’ve got two boys at Henderson,” said Walker. “So, I’ve got three kids in the schools, and I feel like the parents need a strong voice to be able to make the big decisions.”

One way she hopes to cut costs in the District is completing the process of insourcing the bussing services that will be implemented next year.

“With [bussing] being outsourced, the staff work for another company, they don’t work for FHSD” said Walker. “So by controlling the quality, it’s hopefully going to save us some money. We just leased the busses, so that’s the sort of things that need to happen in our school district. We outsourced things, I think, because it was easy, but it’s cost us a lot of money.”

Being on the board she values being able to interact with students and takes advantage of opportunities available to her in the position.

“[This job] means a lot to me,” said Walker. “It feels amazing. I graduated from FHHS in 1994. I moved into the house I’m in because I wanted my kids to go to FHN. So, being on the board, it feels good to know that I have an impact, and that when I say things, things actually start happening.”

 

Ferguson Hopes to Regain Seat

Sandra L. Ferguson has run for the board six times over the past 25 years, serving from 1995 to 2000 and from 2015 to 2018. Being an involved community member, grandparent and retiree, she feels qualified to run again.

“A school board directly impacts your taxes and your children,” said Ferguson. “So you have to be willing to put the time in to be able to give the taxpayers the best person possible.”

Ferguson takes pride in her connections with the senior population, as well as her time spent with youth, especially in Scouts of America with her grandson. She values a position on the board because she can cater to all community members.

“[Being on the board] means that I can make a difference in the community, with patrons, students and teachers because the decisions that [board members] make impact those three facets of the community.” said Ferguson. “You have a fiduciary responsibility to both taxpayers, parents, teachers and students.”

In her previous experiences, Ferguson has worked well with the other candidates. She sees her campaign as a personal mission to give back to the District.

“The other two candidates are absolutely wonderful candidates.” said Ferguson. “I’ve worked with both of them on the board before, so there’s no animosity against any of them. I’m running for me. All three of us are perfectly qualified and can do the job very successfully and we have in the past.”

 

Hoehn Focuses on Students

Mike Hoehn has previously served a total of nine years, starting his first term in 2008 with the renovation of FHHS. Campaigning for his fourth term, he aims to continue managing district projects and maximize productivity. Hoehn’s biggest inspiration is the students.

“The main reason I continue to be on the board is I’m always putting kids first,” said Hoehn. “Every vote I’ve made, every decision I’ve made, is always ‘How does this impact kids?’ We’re here to provide the best educational opportunities we can for our kids.”

He takes the responsibility with great care and consideration, while also taking into account other board members’ opinions.

“Being a board member, you’re one of seven,” said Hoehn. “You have to have four votes in order to do anything. We all come from different backgrounds, we all have a variety or expertise, and everyone gives their input. When it all comes down to it, we’re all working towards the same thing: the best educational opportunities for our kids.”

Hoehn’s major focuses for the board if he were to be reelected are: maintaining a balanced budget, evaluating facilities and implementing the five-year strategic plan, which incorporates a series of committees to attend to needs in the district. It’s important to him that he keeps his promises to those in the district.

“I would like to thank [voters] for the opportunity I’ve had to serve and I’d like to continue to do that,” said Hoehn. “I’ll always put kids first and make sure that we’re fiscally responsible with every penny that they provide to us.”

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