Anoka-Hennepin School Board:
Erin Heers-McArdle: Give parents, teachers a voice
From the Minneapols Labor Review, October 25, 2019
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
ANOKA — “There’s a way to work with people and be respectful,” says Erin Heers-McArdle. “One of my biggest things is giving parents and families and teachers a voice.”
Heers-McArdle is running for the District 1 seat on the Anoka-Hennepin School Board with the endorsement of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO as well as Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota and SEIU Local 284. District 1 includes western Andover, Anoka, western Coon Rapids and southwestern Ramsey.
Heers-McArdle is challenging the long-time incumbent, in part, because of the board’s mishandling of recent conflict at Ramsey Elementary School.
But mostly, she says, “I was motivated by my own need to be involved.” She adds: “I remember one of my all-time favorite teachers” whose lesson was “you only have the right to complain about something if you’re willing to do something to fix it.”
A self-employed artist, Heers-McArdle has worked in the schools as a teacher through grant-based programs as well as a tutor, para-professional, and after-school program coordinator. She’s a longtime advocate for people with disabilities.
She and husband Rev. Chris McArdle, pastor of Anoka UCC, have a first-grader in the Anoka-Hennepin Schools.
“I’m a strong supporter of union labor,” Heers-McArdle says. “My mom was in a union… It was important for my family… I’m a firm believer that unions make for stronger communities.”