Columbia Falls 2023 School Board Trustee Candidate Profile: Jonathan Foust

Jonathan Foust is a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserve and lives in Columbia Falls with his wife and two children

By Denali Sagner
Jonathan Foust. Courtesy photo.

Flathead Beacon: Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your relationship to the Columbia Falls public schools?

Jonathan Foust: I was born and raised in Hamilton so I’ve lived in Montana all of my life except for the times I was deployed for military service. I moved to the Flathead Valley in 2000 and married my wife, Dawn Foust, in 2002 who is a graduate of CFHS. I enjoy hunting, fishing and spending time with my family. I have two children. My daughter graduated from CFHS in 2019 and my son is a sophomore. I joined the military after high school, and I am currently a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserve with 22 years of military service. I’m also a current member of American Legion Post 72, Honor Guard for United Veterans of Flathead Valley, Past Trustee for Board of Evergreen Fire, Past President of AFSME Local 256 Union, and EMT/firefighter of Evergreen Volunteer Fire & Rescue for 10 years.  

FB: Why are you running for the school board? 

JF: I have a strong desire for community service. I want to represent the teachers, students and taxpayers of my community.   

FB: What will some of your main priorities or goals be if elected to the school board? 

JF: My goal is to make sure our teachers have the support they need and ensuring our students’ success while being fiscally responsible for every tax dollar

FB: What are some changes you’d like to see in the school district?

JF: It’s very alarming to look at the average tax dollar that is spent on each student versus the low success rate. I don’t have the solution to the problem but I know addressing the issue is the first step.

FB: How do you think the Columbia Falls School District should be addressing growth in Columbia Falls and in the Flathead Valley at large? 

JF: The growth in this valley definitely creates a struggle. With more and more people moving in, it strains the system and our resources. A lot of the locals in the valley can’t afford a tax increase while it seems like the ones moving in can afford more. The school district can’t control the growth and has to adapt and get creative, which is a battle. 

FB: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

JF: I feel I would be a great asset to the school board because of my 22 years of military service and experience. I will be mindful of the taxpayer’s dollar in every decision I make.  I’ve lived in Montana all my life and I want our children to continue to live in this state and keep our small community values and traditions.   

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