Click here to learn more about becoming a member of the HCSD Board of Education.
President: Willette Jones | Term 7/1/2022 – 6/30/2025
My name is Willette Jones, I’ve served on the Hudson City School District Board for 6 years. I would like to continue my work on the board to assist in the development of policy changes, and to show support to the new superintendent. I am a former graduate of the HCSD, all 4 of my children attended HCSD and have graduated.
As a member of the school board, an area of focus that I believe is important is Health & Safety. It is my desire for all students and staff to feel safe when entering our building. I also want to assist with policy that supports all students in higher education and/or career readiness upon graduation. As a member, I hope to have an impact on the board to ensure that all families are represented and a part of the district’s future focus goals (Achieve Academic Excellence, Become Future Ready, Commit to Civic Engagement).
To be an effective member of the board you have to be flexible and a team player, because all decisions made are determined by a majority vote. The skills, knowledge and experience that are helpful in being a good board member are active listening, community relationships and experience in education.
Vice President: Mark DePace | Term 7/1/2022 – 6/30/2025
I am a parent, entrepreneur, part-time educator, youth sports coach, and the current Vice President of the Hudson City School District Board of Education. I grew up in the Hudson Valley and graduated from Newburgh Free Academy. As the child of two teachers, I have been passionate about public education for as long as I can remember.
Since joining the School Board, my goal has been to continue the trend of academic improvement within our schools and ultimately, create a school district that all residents can be proud of. Academic excellence goes hand in hand with inclusion and equity and I want to continue to develop robust educational experiences that serve students of all backgrounds. Our schools should reflect the community that we live in and celebrate its diversity, rich history, natural beauty, and cultural institutions. This continued change will take an increase in morale, community participation, and positivity within the culture of our schools.
I believe all voices should be heard and that communication and collaboration are essential when trying to build a consensus and generate prompt, decisive action. By using the skills I have developed as an entrepreneur and educator I am confident I can continue to be an effective leader for our school community.
Member: Kjirsten Gustavson | Current term ends 6/30/2026
I have lived in Hudson since 2005, and I am the mother of two daughters in the Hudson CSD. For the past seven years, I have had to navigate a variety of special services there while supporting my girls’ education. I also volunteered in 2020 to help develop policies for returning to school safely in light of COVID-19 and recently have begun volunteering to help with the drama club during its annual performance. For eleven years, I worked on field trip programs as a museum educator at nearby Clermont State Historic Site. Now I develop museum exhibits that incorporate diverse history throughout New York State.
It is Hudson CSD’s recent adoption of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy that most inspired me to run for school board. I believe this policy is an important first step, and I look forward to hearing the voices of students and parents to help ensure that the policy is put into action thoughtfully and effectively. I support arts and culture for our students. Finally, I also bring experience working with state budgets, non-for profits, personnel, and facility management. I hope to use these skills and experience to serve the community on the board.
Member: Selha Graham | Current term ends 6/30/2024
I have been on the Board of Education since 2021. I moved to Hudson, New York in 1994 with my mom and sister.
I believe in community and volunteerism. I love my children and believe helping the school district is an extension of that love. I love hearing about the growth and development of our youth, district and community. I love helping make the school more enjoyable and for everyone.
I have seven children, four of them have come through the district and graduated. I have 3 remaining children coming through, one in each building.
I did go to Hudson. I didn’t appreciate much of the opportunities during my student life. I didn’t like the culture of Hudson then. I think if culture was different, I might not have signed out and taken my GED. I look forward to making the culture at Hudson a lot healthier and healing than when I attended.
Member: Calvin Lewis | Current term ends 6/30/2026
I have been a Hudson City School District Board of Education member since May 2022 and attended the school district from grades K-12, beginning at John L. Edwards Elementary School. I have and always will be a Bluehawk at heart!
I was inspired to serve on the board because I believe representation matters, especially because the district prides itself on having a diverse student body. I think it’s very important for all scholars to have people they can seek out, it makes navigating the world more manageable. My goal is to improve community relations and communication between the district, the community and local organizations that serve our youth.
I always look forward to Board of Education meetings. We have a depth of talent and knowledge at our district, whether it be our faculty, students or guest speakers. The presentations are always informative.The student-representatives are amazing, I did not have the confidence to speak publicly in high school, so it’s great to know we have such versatile students to represent our beloved community.
I have nieces and nephews who currently attend the district so I always want to know what’s going on with them and what they are learning at school. As a former student-athlete, I always keep an eye on how dominant we are in the Patroon Conference. Another initiative I look to support is engaging afterschool programming that includes mentoring and training opportunities. It’s a great way to get involved with youth. Many of the youth organizations need volunteers, these types of relationships have become the lifeline of our community.
Member: Lakia Walker | Term 7/1/2022 – 6/30/2025
My name is Lakia Walker. I ran for a seat on the Hudson City School Board because I have a desire to see all students fulfill their greatest potential and destiny. This is why I obtained my Master’s Degree in School Counseling and have worked in education for over 20 years. As a Work Based Learning Coordinator, I look forward to how I can make a positive impact to help students grow and develop their future career goals.
I am a mother of four children all being raised in the Hudson City School District, with my oldest son being a 2022 graduate. I believe the most important thing I would like to accomplish is to advocate for transparency between the district and parents/guardians. I am committed to support policy that will strengthen and prepare all students for post-secondary education or the workforce. In the next three years I plan to support policy, curriculum and a strategic plan that will increase test scores and raise the graduation rate.
To be an effective board member it takes time, dedication, and courage. I am willing to stand and speak out for parental rights and advocate for transparency.
Member: Lauren Jones | Term 10/10/2023 – 6/30/2024
My name is Lauren Jones and I am a mother of two Hudson City School District students. Additionally, I am a farmer/small business owner with a decade of ties to the community.
As stated in my application letter to the Board of Education, I want to learn more about how Hudson children’s needs are being met and use that knowledge to serve Hudson’s children and families.
Student Representative: Fathima Chowdhury (2023-24 School Year)
Phone: 518-828-4360, ext. 2101
See the Board committee meeting schedule here.