Who We Are
Francis Howell Forward is a non-partisan, grassroots organization formed by parents over the winter of 2022 - 2023. As parents of Francis Howell students, we support our teachers, administrators, and school board members who recognize the need for an inclusive community. As we emerge from initial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic and the division and bitterness it wrought, we are eager to build unity and goodwill in our district through ongoing civil discourse, education, and advocacy.
We invite all in our Francis Howell Community to join us in this endeavor.
We believe all children deserve the support of their community to embrace who they are,
define their future, and change the world.
Francis Howell Forward is dedicated to preserving and protecting public schools and to advancing equity education in order to prepare students for success in a global community and workforce.
- 1 -
Francis Howell Forward seeks to build unity and awareness by holding educational events where families and community members can engage in meaningful dialogue.
- 2 -
We intentionally center targeted and marginalized voices in the Francis Howell School District; we know that by doing so, we further democracy and improve the quality of education.
- 3 -
In order to defend our school district from efforts to defund and dismantle effective programs, our organization will endorse and support candidates who align with our goals. As a PAC (Political Action Committee) that is rooted in grassroots organizing in our community, we will fund efforts that support our mission.
Francis Howell Forward is registered with the Missouri Ethics Commission and we are dedicated to being transparent to our community.
Meet Our Leadership Team
Our current leadership team was born out of friendship, trust, and service to our community. We are proud members of various local and statewide organizations and are deeply dedicated to our mission. If our mission speaks to you, we invite you to join us in this journey.
Jamie Martin She/Her
I am proud to be a wife and mother of four and a doctoral candidate with the University of Missouri at Saint Louis. I hold a deep and abiding faith as a Christian who has served with my church for my entire adult life. In addition, I am a licensed Missouri educator with 10 years experience spanning 2 other states (Texas, and Utah). Twice, I have found myself faced with experiences which forced a personal reckoning with identity and race. In my twenties, I lost my mother to suicide, which today brings me a unique understanding of mental health services and the need for social-emotional learning. Later, in 2016, the son of a close family friend and a Black young man from my Sunday School class was shot and killed by a police officer. This experience forced a journey of inquiry and forgiveness that shapes my work today.
I don’t believe anyone is ever “woke.” I believe our Maker has set us on a common journey through life that we may learn to love as we are loved. I also believe that as we bring our party affiliation, beliefs, and cultures to the table and as we recognize and value these differences as part of our civil process, together we are able to find nuanced and comprehensive solutions. My goal as president of Francis Howell Forward is to both center the voices of marginalized people and build unity in our community.
Marissa Polzin She/Her
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, the product of Private Catholic schools. I am grateful for the education I received, but I grew to have a belief that my children should receive a public school education. I moved to St. Charles County in 2008 specifically for the highly rated Francis Howell School District. I am a wife and mother to three children who all attend schools in the district. We have navigated the challenging and emotional journey of having children with Dyslexia and ADHD and witnessed the love and support that the educators and staff have for our children, working tirelessly to ensure they have the tools and supports they need to be successful.
I have also worked for Edward Jones for 22 years. I met our internal leadership members over the last two years at our school board meetings through my work with the Missouri Equity Education Partnership.
I am excited to come to the table with an open heart and mind, to find our commonalities, to listen, to celebrate our different experiences, and to move forward to create a more inclusive community.
Amy Easterling She/Her
Treasurer | Events Director
I grew up in Virginia, where I received an amazing public education. Education is in my blood. My mother taught HS Earth Science and Biology for 30 years and my sister is a HS science teacher. My husband and I moved to the area for what was intended to be a temporary job assignment. 20 years later, we have two children (classes of ‘21 and ‘24) who have attended all levels of school in the district, from Parents as Teachers and Early Childhood all the way through high school. Our time in FHSD has been very positive and we have always found teachers and staff who supported our children’s individual needs.
I am a career IT Project Manager and work supporting large transformative projects. I love my work and take great pleasure in solving complex problems and navigating challenging teams, always with a smile on my face! I believe in the power of hard work, communication, and a positive attitude.
I recently ran for the FHSD Board, desiring to give back to the district and to ensure that all students continued to receive a quality education. I am a strong supporter of marginalized groups, especially our LGBTQIA+ community. National agendas and culture wars are making life harder for those folks here in Missouri, which is of deep concern to me.
While the election didn’t tip my way, it brought me to get to know the amazing women who run Francis Howell Forward. I am thrilled to now join with this group to advocate for equity and inclusion in our school community.
Courtney Kamp She/Her
Campaign & Fundraising Director | Deputy Treasurer
I grew up in Illinois just across the Mississippi river from Saint Charles, so moving back to the region from Ohio in 2015 felt like coming home. As a graduate from a very small, rural public high school, I understood the limited access to resources that I desired in my education. In college, I studied Fashion Design, graduating with my Bachelors in 2008, and have since worked as an apparel designer in the global industry with various major retail brands. My roles allowed me access to travel the world, working alongside a talented & diverse workforce. It has also given me a deep understanding of the global supply chain and the complex challenges our future generations will face in solving problems created by those before them.
As a mother who lives with Bipolar 1 Disorder and knowing my past traumas led to my illness, I am passionate about supporting social emotional learning and fighting the stigma of physical health diagnoses. Every family has struggles. I am no stranger. However, I also know that these struggles are not equal and that my access to resources has allowed my management and hope for recovery. My hope with Francis Howell Forward is that by highlighting the truth in history and the current challenges we face, we will build a future that all our children are allowed to thrive in.