Erickson aims for consistency among schoolsPublished 9:47am Friday, August 3, 2012
Editor’s note: Over the next few weeks the Tribune will profile candidates running in the Aug. 14 primary and the Nov. 6 election.
A third incumbent has filed for re-election to the Albert Lea School District’s school board.
Jeshua Erickson filed Wednesday for the two-year term opening on the school board. Two other incumbents, Linda Laurie and Kim Nelson, filed for four-year terms earlier this week.
The Albert Lea school board has four seats up for the Nov. 6 election. Filing started Tuesday and ends Aug. 14; there is no primary election. Three of the seats are four-year terms, and one is a two-year term. At filing, candidates must declare whether they’re seeking a four-year term or a two-year term. All candidates for each term run against each other because the ballot will ask voters to pick three people for the available four-year terms and pick one person for the available two-year term.
Following is a profile on incumbent Jeshua Erickson.
Jeshua Erickson, 36, lives in Albert Lea with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children 3-year-old Axel and 3-month-old Trixie. Erickson is a programmer at Agillis, and hobbies include spending time with his family, playing disc golf and running.
Erickson was elected to the school board in November of 2010. He filed for the two-year term for this election because he wanted to make sure he would be able to commit fully to the board.
“It’s one of those things where I want to make sure I can put in a really good solid two years if I’m elected,” Erickson said.
He said with having two young children at home he didn’t want to run for a four-year term, get elected and possibly have to resign if he wasn’t able to put in the work needed for the school board. For now, he’s hoping to be elected for the two-year term to follow through with all the recent changes the district has seen.
“Part of what I really want to be on the board for is to follow these pieces all the way through and focus on stabilizing all of the new things that have been implemented,” Erickson said.
He said he’s been impressed with the district’s administration and how willing they’ve been to follow through with initiatives or other ideas the board wants to try. He also said he’s glad the board has been moving toward a governance model where it sets policies and lets administration and employees follow through.
“We’re being really clear about what our expectations are,” Erickson said.
One accomplishment Erickson said he’s proud of is aligning the district’s curriculum so that all grades are learning the same lessons and that all teachers are working with others from different buildings to make sure all the district’s students are learning what’s most important.
“The more we have a consistent experience from one elementary school to the next the more we’ll all be moving in the same direction,” Erickson said.
Recently the board identified five things they would like the administration to focus on, including graduation rates, ACT scores and more. Erickson said he was glad to be able to tell the administration what the board values most and he’s looking forward to seeing the results.