Anoka-Hennepin School Board
Public schools build success
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 27, 2017
By Steve Share, editor, Minneapolis Labor Review
ANDOVER — “Public education is the primary driver in building successful communities and successful individuals,” says Anna Dirkswager.
Dirkswager is running for the District 4 seat on the Anoka-Hennepin school board, endorsed by the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
District 4 includes northern Andover, Ham Lake, Nowthen, Oak Grove and northeastern Ramsey. Incumbent William Fields is not running for re-election.
‘For me and other young women, involvement in issues of science and technology is huge. That needs to be a skill set they have.’
A scientist by training, Dirkswager has worked for 3M, for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and currently is a program manager at the Great Plains Institute, creating clean energy initiatives.
“For me and other young women, involvement in issues of science and technology is huge,” Dirkswager says. “That needs to be a skill set they have.”
Dirkswager worked from 2009-2016 at the Minnesota DNR Division of Forestry as biomass and renewable energy consultant. During that time, she was an active union member in MAPE — the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. During that time, she also experienced the budget stalemate that led to the state government shutdown. “That shutdown made it pretty real…in terms of the value of collective bargaining,” she says.
Dirkswager grew up in Wisconsin in a family of teachers — her grandmother, her mother, and her sister all were teachers. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Biology from Saint Mary’s University in Winona and an M.S. in Natural Resource Science Management from the University of Minnesota.
If elected, Dirkswager says, “I intend to be a strong voice for teachers. They need that support on the school board.”
Dirkswager lives in Andover. She and her husband have two daughters, ages 5 and 2, who soon will attend the Anoka-Hennepin public schools — and that, she says, is the prime reason she’s running.