2 Incumbents Among 4 Candidates Seeking 2 Seats on Ferguson-Florissant Board

Whoever is elected or reelected to the Ferguson-Florissant School Board on Tuesday, April 2 will face a budget that has tentative $7 million in budget cuts for the 2013-14 school year.

Those cuts would include 41 certified teachers and 10 other district employees. Negotiations with the National Education Association continue on salaries for returning teachers.  About 100 teachers attended a recent school board session, mostly to show solidarity as negotiations continue

A citizens committee had proposed $3 million of the proposed cuts, while the administration proposed the other $4 million in cuts. The board must have a final budget by July 1.

Two incumbents are running for reelection with two other  candidates on the ballot for two seats for three-year terms. Incumbents are: Charles (Chuck) Henson and  Leslie Suzanne Hogshead. Keith A. Brown and Larry Thomas are the newcomers seeking election. Hogshead and Brown have the support of the National Education Association.

Polls will be open to registered voters from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day.

Following are brief profiles on each candidate, listed in the order in which each individual filed:

Charles (Chuck) Henson, 53, has lived in the Ferguson-Florissant School District since 1973 and is a graduate of McCluer High School.  He has previously served two terms on the District’s Board of Education.  Henson has two children who graduated from McCluer High School and has served the District on various committees prior to his election to the Board. Mr. Henson began his career in the design and construction industry and previously served as director of community relations for McCarthy Building Group.  He also founded a Ferguson, Mo.-based human resource consulting firm called Design Alternatives Inc. and is currently the manager of business development for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), a division of the federal Department of Commerce in St. Louis.   Henson is a graduate of Washington University where he received a degree in architecture. He has been married for 27 years to his wife, Lesia.                                               



Leslie S. Hogshead, 62, has lived in the Ferguson-Florissant School District since 1977 and has served on the District’s Board of Education since 1992. She has one daughter who graduated from McCluer High School. Mrs. Hogshead helped to establish the school’s Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) and founded Project Graduation, a safe celebration event for graduating high school seniors.  Mrs. Hogshead has worked in healthcare administration for 16 years and also serves on various committees and boards in the City of Ferguson. Mrs. Hogshead is a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where she received degrees in psychology and business.  She has been married for 42 years to her husband, Ken.




Keith Brown, 64, has lived in the Ferguson-Florissant School District since 1989.  He has served as a substitute teacher in the District for more than two years and has a excellent classroom awareness.  He has one daughter who graduated from McCluer High School.  Mr. Brown is a retired TWA-American Airlines flight attendant, and is currently employed at Express Scripts. He is a Vietnam War veteran, serving in the Army from 1969-1970.   He has served as a Salvation Army volunteer, running children summer camps and distributing food to the needy  Brown is a graduate of Biola College where he received a degree in Christian education. He has been active in church work as a teacher. He has been married for 28 years to his wife, Karyn.


Larry Thomas, 58, has lived in the Ferguson-Florissant School District since 2008.  Currently self-employed as a community organizer, Mr. Thomas has worked previously as a St. Louis County elections clerk and as an administrative assistant with the St. Louis Public Library.  He has also held positions with Boeing, U.S. Bank and St. Louis Sportservice.  Thomas studied political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; journalism and mass communications at Tarkio College; education at Harris-Stowe State University and business management at Florissant Valley Community College.  (no photo provided)

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