Erik Herring, candidate for the Stratham Memorial School Board

Position sought (including ward or district number, if applicable)

Stratham Memorial School Board – One Year Term

Wife Abbie, daughters Amelia and Sadie

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?

No

Education

BS, Business Studies – University of Southern New Hampshire

Occupation

Vice President of a technology services firm, with 20 years of experience in the IT field

Previous or current elected or appointed function

Stratham Zoning Adjustment Board, Regular Member

Campaign website

https://www.erik4sms.com

Why are you seeking an elective mandate?

I have real skin in the game. My beautiful daughters are both students of Stratham Memorial School. I want the little ones in our town to get the best education and have all the benefits when they grow up. Our family moved to Stratham because SMS was one of the best elementary schools on the coast. Coming out of the pandemic, we have seen a worrying decline in academic skills. I want to lead the charge so that our children can perform and compete at the highest level.

The most pressing issue facing our (council, district, etc.) is _______, and that is what I intend to do about it.

Academics in decline: We have lost ground during the pandemic and it is time to set measurable goals and create a culture of accountability. I am committed to providing leadership that will carefully assess each initiative, spending request, or resource allocation to ensure it aligns with academic improvement.

What are the main differences between you and the other candidates for this position?

I have a unique experience in continuous improvement within organizations. I also accept something that the current board has not presented to the administration: the need to set objective, measurable goals that we can use to assess our progress and compare our results to other schools in the area.

In addition to a strong volunteer spirit, I am well qualified for the position. During my career, I have been responsible for budgets, forecasts, people and project management. I value critical thinking, high expectations, achievable goals, accountability and good stewardship of taxpayers’ money.

If you are a challenger, in what ways has the current board or administrator let down the community (or district or constituency)

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

Unclear Priorities: The responsibility of the board is to set school goals and provide oversight on behalf of the public. Most of the board members who sit have no educational background, but are representative members of the community. Administrators and teachers are the educators and know best how to implement the goals. The board should remove barriers for educators in policy development and provide the funding they need to achieve prescribed goals. This should be an iterative and collaborative process that ensures everyone plays their part. The current board has not set clear and measurable goals. I pledge to change that.

Communication Gap: The community craves real conversation, not just one-way information. In the absence of meaningful dialogue, concerned members of the community on both sides of the issues retreat to the echo chambers of social media to vent their frustration. This only reinforces prejudices and does not move us forward. I pledge to act in good faith, advocating for deep conversations, roundtables, transparent discussions, and providing meaningful responses to all messages I receive from my constituents.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as proof that you can handle this job?

The best advice ever shared with me was:

“Always live your values!”

What else would you like voters to know about you and your duties?

There’s no reason SMS shouldn’t be the elementary school everyone in the area wants to send their kids to. I know, because it was like that before, and not so long ago. We have smart, well-paid teachers, caring paraprofessionals and staff, loving parents and guardians who want to engage, and a very supportive community with high expectations. But this is going to require setting the right vision and goals, and providing oversight to achieve them.

About Stephen Arrington

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