Hudson Candidate Statement – School Committee – Erica Ankstitus


Hudson Candidate Statement – School Committee – Erica Ankstitus
Erica Ankstitus

Please provide a brief biographical background on yourself. What should voters know about you?

Hello Hudson! My name is Erica Ankstitus. I grew up in Bolton and moved to Hudson 14 years ago. Hudson interested my husband and I because we wanted to raise our children in a diverse community. My children were in the integrated preschool program and now they are in kindergarten and 1st grade as part of the DL program as native English learners. I am an active participant in Farley’s HSA, a member of the Farley School Council, and was part of the Hudson Superintendent Screening Committee.

I enjoy fitness and staying active. I work full time for Lilly as a pharmaceutical representative for 17 years. I have a degree in psychology and a MBA. My family enjoys scooter rides on the Hudson Bike Path. We also take part in events offered in Hudson including events at the library and at the HPD such as the Citizen’s Police Academy and Woman’s Self Defense classes.

My passion to help the Hudson School District reach its full potential makes me a desirable candidate for Hudson School Committee.

I ask for your support on May 8th!

Why are you running?

I’m running because I’m committed to our community, our schools, and our children. I want to make a positive difference and be a part of policy making and education oversight in our community to give back in an impactful way. I believe teaching is a demanding job that has influential impact on our students’ future. It takes a special person to be a teacher! I want to make sure all kids get what they individually need.

There has been discussion about a “budget cliff” for the school budget in 2025. If elected, what steps should the schools take to brace for this?

The schools should review their current budget to identify areas where costs can be reduced, including finding ways to be more efficient with existing resources.The schools can also assess their curriculum to determine which programs and services are essential, which should involve input from teachers, administrators, and community members. The schools should explore alternative funding sources, such as grants, donations, and partnerships with local businesses and organizations to help provide additional resources for students. Schools may need to restructure their operations to make the most of available resources. It’s essential for schools to engage with the community to build support for the budget and identify potential solutions including holding public forums, creating a budget committee, or using social media to gather feedback from parents and stakeholders. It will require creative thinking and possibly talking to other school districts who have figured this out, but I want to make sure we don’t have any staffing cuts.

Supporting English Language Learners (ELL) students was a topic of conversation during recent superintendent interviews. What can the district do to support this group of students?

Culturally responsive teaching strategies can help ELLs feel more engaged and connected to the material they’re learning. Ideas can include incorporating culturally relevant materials into the curriculum and using teaching strategies that are culturally responsive and making sure literature is up to date. Make sure our staff is diverse to help students feel more comfortable and understood in the classroom, which can lead to better academic outcomes. Many ELLs require additional language support services to help them learn English, including things like ESL classes and tutoring. It’s important for the district to provide these services to ensure that ELLs are receiving the support they need to succeed. ELLs may feel excluded if they don’t feel welcomed in the school environment. It’s important for the district to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, regardless of their language background. Ensure all communication that goes home is translated to necessary languages so all are included.

What are the three biggest issues facing Hudson schools?

Hudson Public Schools may face challenges related to funding. Having a limited budget to work with may create a challenge to provide students with the resources they need to succeed. This can lead to difficulties in hiring and retaining quality teachers, maintaining facilities, and providing necessary supplies and materials. HPS may be facing an increase in mental health issues among students who may struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges. Providing students with the support they need to address these issues is essential to their well-being and academic success. HPS may also be grappling with achievement gaps between different groups of students including disparities in academic performance between students of different races, ethnicities, or socioeconomic backgrounds. Addressing these gaps requires a multi-faceted approach including targeted support for struggling students, culturally responsive teaching practices, and efforts to promote equity and inclusion.

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