Anoka-Hennepin School Board
Erin Heers-McArdle: ‘We need to be loud about successes, honest about shortfalls’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review
October 21, 2023
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
ANOKA — “It makes me sad how pockets of people in our community don’t believe in public schools anymore,” says Erin Heers-McArdle. Sometimes, she notes, those voices are very loud. “We need to be loud about our successes and be honest about our shortfalls and have a plan in place to make it better.”
Heers-McArdle is running for re-election to represent District 1 on the Anoka-Hennepin school board. Four years ago, she defeated the 20-year incumbent to win her first term on the board.
District 1 includes Anoka and parts of Ramsey, Andover and Coon Rapids.
As in her first campaign, Heers-McArdle is running with endorsements from the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO and also from Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota and SEIU. Her website declares: “I’m proud to be pro-union, pro-worker, and pro-teacher!”
||For Heers-McArdle, a priority is ‘making sure our students needs are met no matter where they start…’
Running four years ago, she told the Labor Review: “There’s a way to work with people and be respectful… One of my biggest things is giving parents and families and teachers a voice.”
“I’m all about building relationships… really getting to know teachers, principals, staff,” she says as she runs for re-election.
Heers-McArdle says one of her proudest accomplishments from her first term on the board was working to see Regional High School move into the Sandburg building and, next year, to see the Bridges and Pathways programs move from rented locations into the district’s former Franklin elementary school. All three programs had been in rented spaces not designed for students. “We’re giving them a better place,” she says.
For Heers-McArdle, a priority is “making sure our students’ needs are met no matter where they start…”
For the next four years, getting all students to meet the third-grade reading levels will be a priority for the board, she says, because attaining those skills impacts future achievement. “That will continue to be one of the biggest things we aim for.”
A continuing challenge: “Everybody across the country has a shortage of teachers and staff at every level.”
“Anoka-Hennepin has a history of fiscally conservative practices that have worked really well for us,” Heers-McArdle says. When the COVID pandemic hit, other districts that were less fiscally-stable really suffered, she notes. “We have a fund balance that really holds up… We need to keep it that way.”