A champion of educational opportunity and excellence has died.
Bettye Poignard, a former Fort Wayne Community Schools board member and director of multicultural services at IPFW, died Wednesday evening after a lingering illness, according to her husband, Charles Poignard.
Bettye Poignard had been in retirement, her husband said, after working for the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. Her funeral is set for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at East Allen County Church of Christ, 3800 Minnich Road.
Poignard twice served on the FWCS board, from 1987 to 1990 and again from 2000 to 2002, after being selected to fill the unexpired term of a departing board member.
At IPFW, Poignard was heavily involved in what was called the Future Academic Scholars’ Track program, or FAST, which was meant to identify and help students from sixth through 12th grade prepare for college coursework and professional careers.
“She was most proud of that one,” Charles Poignard said Friday. “She felt that with more opportunities and support, all students would be successful.”
Longtime friend Marsha Tapp-Sanders, a former director of FAST, said she and Poignard often talked about the program and how best to help students.
“She was supportive of them and nurtured them,” Tapp-Sanders said. “She didn’t just want students to excel academically. She wanted to help them to become people who would give back to the community.”