2020 School Board Elections

A School District Election will be held on Tuesday, June 2, 2020,

in all the voting precincts in School District No. 49-7, South Dakota. 


Polls will be open from 7AM to 7PM. 


Two (2) three-year terms for school board members, residing anywhere in the district.


The following candidates have filed nominating petitions: 

     Anna Johnson 

     Paula Hawks 

     Justin Eich 


Polling places in each precinct of this district is as follows: 

  • Hartford Precinct (Hartford City Hall, 125 N Main Ave, Hartford) – Hartford City, Hartford Township, Grand Meadow Township, Benton Township. 

  • Humboldt Precinct (Humboldt Community Center, 201 S Main St, Humboldt) – Humboldt City, Humboldt Township, Clear Lake Township, Spring Valley Township, Greenland Township, Wellington Township. 

  • Wall Lake Precinct (Wall Lake Township Hall, 26452 463rd Ave, Hartford) – Wall Lake Township, Wayne Township and City of Sioux Falls residents located within the West Central School District. 


Any voter who needs assistance, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, may contact the school business manager at (605)528-3217 before the election for information on polling place accessibility for people with disabilities. 

Meet the Candidates

Anna Johnson

          Hi! My name is Anna Johnson.  My family & I have resided in Hartford since 2017.  We enjoy camping and exploring, seeing the world anew through the eyes of our toddler.  I’ve worked in higher education for over 10 years and one of my greatest passions is helping students succeed.  I currently work as a Student Success Advisor for Southeast Tech.  I work with students as an instructor and advisor to ensure a successful college experience.  Additionally, I work as a private reading instructor with Anderson-Smith Speech, working primarily with students with Dyslexia to ensure that reading is not the roadblock to their success. ​

         I enjoy being a part of and giving back to the community that I live in.  Additionally, my son will one day join the West Central School District.  Having worked in higher education I understand the critical importance of a strong K-12 foundation.            I am certified to teach in the state of South Dakota, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Masters in Multi-categorical Special Education. 

I have held a variety of positions at the post-secondary level with experience from teaching to curriculum review and development, to administration.  Additionally, I have served for several years on the board of a Sioux Falls -based non-profit organization. ​

          I view the community as being one of the district’s greatest strengths.  The lure of hometown camaraderie is one of the things that drew my family to the area and has proven true in our experience.  The support of the community has been demonstrated continuously in our time here. ​

         As a member of the school board I would work to ensure appropriate teacher – student ratios in the elementary classrooms, high curriculum review standards and appropriate student services including counseling and behavior specialists.  As the world continues to change, education needs to adapt as well.  With mental health concerns on the rise, schools need to be prepared to face new challenges.  My best hope for West Central, would be to equip the district to face these challenges and meet the needs of today’s students. 

Paula Hawks

          I am a lifelong South Dakotan, raised on a farm, by lifelong South Dakotans near Flandreau. I attended SDSU and USD, earning a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree; and I taught for many years at West Central High School. I met and married my college sweetheart, Steve, while still living in Brookings. Our children include one graduate of West Central, and two children still attending West Central as a sophomore and a third grader. I am an avid gardener and enjoyed many years coaching youth sports, as my children grew up.​          I have been serving on the board for the last three years and have very much enjoyed it.  I think I bring a great deal of experience as a teacher, former legislator, and now a post-secondary instructor and advisor.  The hands-on education experience I have from teaching in the district gives me great insight into the needs of our teachers and students.  My legislative service has prepared me to look with a critical eye at funding issues: capital outlay, general fund, opt-outs, spending needs; as well as understand the statutory obligations of the school board and district.  Now in post-secondary education, I am working with high school students and recent graduates as they prepare for their professional life. 

This experience helps me to understand the needs of our students before college.  I am driven to civic service because it is important to me that I use my skills and abilities to help others. ​

          I have served on the West Central School Board for three years. I taught in the district for ten years as a high school science teacher and as the technology integration specialist for three years.  I now work as a student success advisor and career services coordinator for Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls.  Prior to that, I served in the state legislature as a state representative for District 9 (Hartford, Humboldt, Wall Lake areas) for four years.  Education is my passion, and I love being involved at this level, helping guide policy and budget development. 

          West Central School District has some of the finest educators in the region.  We can be proud of the work these teachers do with our students every day.  We have great facilities for our students to learn in, and to play in.  The Hartford and Humboldt communities are supportive on a level that impresses me beyond words.  ​

          I want to see West Central continue to build on the great things we already have going on.  It is important that we continue to offer challenging coursework and opportunities for our students to succeed on their pathways.  We must also provide our students with hands-on experiences and connections to industry so they can be prepared for whatever they want to achieve when they leave West Central.  I want our faculty and staff to have opportunities for growth and professional development so they can continue to best serve our students.

Justin Eich

          I was raised on a dairy farm by Winfred, SD.  I graduated from Madison High School and obtained  an Associate of Applied Science Degree from Southeast Tech in Autobody. I have worked in and own my own body shop.  I have been married 25 years this summer to Robin.  We have 4 boys of which 3 are attending West Central and the fourth has graduated and lives in Wisconsin.  My wife and I own  Vista Crossing (apartments), Stomping Grounds (coffee shop) and Arrowhead Properties (snow removal) and our children help with the various businesses.  I am an entrepreneur at heart and am instilling a strong work ethic and the business mentality to our children.  I enjoy watching the Kansas City Chiefs, enjoy watching car races and ride atvs and snowmobiles.​

          I value education,  especially K-12.  I feel everyone needs a solid education to become an asset to society.  I would like to help the board adapt to the growth and the changes in learning.  Education is very important to me and I feel that education and the school setting teaches many different things.  The academic aspect of education is important simply by attending school but it is also very important to have quality teachers and an overall learning system where children can excel.  There are various methods of learning out there and I want to assist and ensure that we do what is best for our children, teachers and overall school district.

          The budget and the money that schools receive is always an issue.  We cannot ever have enough money in education but we have limited resources in the State.  It is important to determine where the needs are at and where the money best serves our District.  I am also sure that there are simple ways that we can cut back on the money spent.  I would like to be able to help out financially in regards to the school.  I feel that with being raised on a dairy farm, my education and also years of owning businesses put me at an advantage to be a school board member.​

           I have been a part of the Hartford Area Development Foundation for approximately fourteen years, having been the President for the last 10 years.  I feel I have leadership skills that would help with decisions and challenges that arise.  I am a small business owner and always looking for efficient methods and ways to better our businesses.  I feel that leadership is important for anyone being on a school board as they are the ones that provide guidance and lead the school.  It is also important to be a listener as those that are in the schools every day and listen to the students and know what is best is extremely important as the school board members are not at the school every day.  Those that are in fact at the school and know the various advantages and disadvantages of the school can relay that information to the school board to listen to what is best.  Being a leader and being willing to stand up for what is right and best for the West Central School District is of vital importance.  My goal is to listen to those that have the most information about our District, do additional research and looking into the various areas and then making an informed decision on what is best.  

          I have had a great relationship with the teachers, staff, and administration at West Central over the years.  I want this to continue and also want to ensure that we have a team effort, working together, to do what is best for our students and overall district.  

          I am not the type of person to simply agree with others or be a follower.  If I see an issue or have a question, I try to respectfully discuss it or address it.  It is important to be an individual thinker and not simply a follower.  There are times when questions need to be asked and more information gathered.  I am a type of person that likes to ask why or how rather than simply say yes.  

          Sense of community is a strong value that we have at West Central.  We are blessed with many talented and caring teachers and staff.  We have excellent quality of people involved in the West Central School District and we need to ensure that we support them and their knowledge of the teaching that they do.  We have many passionate educators in our district and I think we need to try to work hard to keep them at West Central.  The better the teachers that we have, the better the education that our children will receive.  We also have ideal sizes of classes.  Our students have many different opportunities for education and the arts but it is small enough to be able to be a “village” to raise our children together.  

          To continue a strong foundation of education for students.  It is also important help students become an asset to society and attain skills for the future of their careers.  I am not a person that thinks college is for everyone.  My wife has her doctorate so education is important to us and she is rather educated.  I have an Associates Decree.  We have owned our own businesses for years.  I want students to understand and have the educators instill in them that they need to use their talents and desires in deciding what they want to do with their lives.  Education at West Central should be to teach our children on the various subjects and teach them to be good, worthwhile people.  We need to have quality people guiding our children and ensuring that the money used to educate them is used in the best manner possible for them.  

          I am hopeful that we can continue to keep West Central at the same level of quality as it has been or perhaps even increasing it.  We need to keep quality and experienced teachers at West Central.  While we will likely increase in size, it is important to keep the District as strong as it can be and instill excellent educations to our children.


West Central School District 49-7

705 East 2nd Street

Hartford, SD 57033