Address: 8615 Chanhassen Hills Dr N, Chanhassen MN 55317
Family: Partner, Bill; daughter, Elle (12); son, Bode (10)
Employment: Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement, Gustavus Adolphus College
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Gustavus Adolphus College, a Master of Arts in Spanish Linguistics from San Diego State University, and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Saint Cloud State University
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy spending time with family, playing tennis, skiing, gardening, cooking and baking, keeping up on current events, and staying involved in my community.
Previous experience that would prove helpful in this position: My career includes experience as an educator, decision maker, budget manager, master communicator, and relationship builder. I’m also skilled in assessment, evaluation, and strategic planning.
Contact info: 320-491-9451; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.angelaerickson.me Why are you running for this position?
Learners in our district possess so much potential, and I’m inspired by them, as well as the talents and dedication of our teachers and staff.
My passion for education has always been an important part of my identity, and I’ve spent my entire career in education, developing both breadth and depth of skill and expertise that aligns strongly with the work of the School Board.
As we navigate the challenges of this consequential time, I’ve chosen to step forward because I believe I’m well prepared to provide visionary leadership and counsel to our communities in this role.
What are the three top priorities you plan to focus on if elected?
If given the opportunity to serve, I would focus on leveraging innovation, enhancing communication, and expanding access and opportunity. I’m confident that innovations borne out of these unprecedented times will linger, and we should lean into efficiencies or changes in priorities that result.
We must also make certain that communication efforts are fortified, which includes elevating the expectation that School Board members serve as accessible, vocal advocates for our schools.
Most importantly, we must address inequities in our district, moving swiftly to action while strengthening partnerships between our schools, local government entities, and area organizations to amplify and accelerate impact.
How would you address the current budget shortfall?
Our district is certainly not alone in grappling with budgetary challenges, and we’ve recently been through the arduous process of implementing wide-ranging budget cuts.
In this moment, I would pay close attention to how COVID has, and will continue, to impact revenues and spending in both positive and negative ways, responding nimbly to make sure we’re prioritizing investments that maximize student impact and reallocating funds that might go underutilized given the circumstances.
Other creative solutions, like undertaking a renegotiation of our debt service, might be a great strategy at a time like now when we know interest rates are low.
What, if anything, would you change regarding how the district addresses equity?
Conversations about what equity means have occurred, but we must do more to illustrate the complexity of inequities in our communities.
I also believe our data set is incomplete, and that thoroughly examining our policies and practices is critical to understanding the nuance of our unique challenges. We must move beyond discussing attitudes and spend time examining behaviors, while acknowledging that equity starts with empathy.
As we better understand the “why” behind the “what” in the lives of our students and community members, we unlock the power of how experiences humanize us while providing high-impact learning opportunities for all.
How would you navigate in-person and distance learning during the pandemic?
I commend district leadership for responding with care and concern in this challenging situation. They have mitigated risk while offering choice to families and employees and adapting nimbly under extraordinary circumstances.
Leaders should remain responsive, close the feedback loop to ensure continued confidence, and hold focus on those with greatest potential of negative impact from inconsistent access to support and resources.
As a parent, I trust in the professionalism of teachers and staff, and believe that maintaining grace, diligence, and optimism will allow us to successfully weather this storm while serving as models of resilience and strength for our learners.
Have you been charged in the past year, or ever been convicted, of a misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?
Yes. In 2014, my ex-husband and I were advised by attorneys to discharge accrued debt from a failed business venture through chapter 7 bankruptcy prior to filing for divorce.