Hudson candidate statements: Chris Yates – School Committee

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Chris Yates is running for a seat on the School Committee. (Submitted photo)

HUDSON – Hudson is gearing up for its 2021 municipal elections on May 10. As voters get set to head to the polls, the Community Advocate has zeroed in on contested races for prominent bodies like Board of Selectmen and School Committee.

The Community Advocate reached out to candidates who filed paperwork to appear on their town’s ballot and asked them to submit a personal statement as well as answers to three specific questions.

See those biographies and read extended questions and answers from Hudson School Committee Candidate Chris Yates here…

And see profiles of other candidates…

PERSONAL BIO

My name is Christopher Yates, a life-long resident of Hudson. I am a father to three children, a 10th and 8thgrader at Hudson High School, and a 3rd grader enrolled out of district. I am a graduate of Hudson High School, Assumption University, and the Quinnipiac University School of Law. I have been an attorney for the past 20 years. I am a previous member of the Hudson School Committee from 2001-2011. I am a parent running for the Hudson School Committee with the hope that my past experience help improve the Hudson Public Schools.

QUESTIONS

What do you see as the most important issue(s) facing the Hudson Public Schools today? 

The most important issues facing the Hudson Public School today are declining enrollment, special education, lack of transparency, and equality. Hudson’s school enrollment has declined by between 20% and 30% in recent years. At the same time, the town population has risen by 5%. We need to reverse this trend. I am a parent o f a student currently on an IEP. Having gone through this challenging process, I would be a voice for parents in the same position. Transparency and parent inclusion is a necessity for the success of a school district. I feel that there should be access to more open participation at school committee meetings than presently exists. Equality is an issue nation-wide and Hudson does not escape that issue. The school committee needs to be vigilant to be certain that all segments of our school population are treated equally.

COVID-19 has uniquely impacted school systems and members of the school community. How would you approach the ongoing questions and decisions any school committee member will have to make as the vaccine rollout and school reopening process continues?

Last year during the initial stages of the pandemic, I had 3 children at 3 different schools on complete remote learning. Trying to manage their online learning while continuing to manage my own full-time job was one of the most difficult periods of my life. We need to be cognizant of how this pandemic has affected students, parents, and teachers. As we transition back into full-time learning, ongoing decisions will need to be made that is best for all parties, including the school district. We have challenges ahead from the gap in learning that exists due to the remote learning that has been going on for the past year. It was recently announced that present juniors will not have to pass the MCAS in order to graduate. How will this affect the present sophomore and freshmen classes remains to be seen.

Is there anything else you want voters to know about you as a candidate? 

A vote for me is a vote for a fresh voice while at the same time being a vote for experience. I pledge to be a strong voice on the committee and ask the right questions. I feel that the Hudson School Committee would benefit from my past experience on the committee, and as a past member of the Hudson Select Board. I would appreciate your vote on May 10.