On April 30, Gossips published the background information provided for the four candidates on the ballot running for seats on the Hudson City School District Board of Education: Willette Jones, Lakia Walker, Kjirsten Gustavson, and Mark DePace. Today, Gossips publishes this statement from Ọṣun Zotique, who announced their write-in candidacy last Friday.
Allow me to take a few moments to outline my experience, credentials, and view of the issues at hand, especially as a: current Hudson CSD Substitute Teacher; second generation American; Executive Director of LGBTQIA+ nonprofit OUTHudson 501c3; Certified NYS K-12 Educator; PhD candidate in Education; former Board of Trustees member of Berkshire Country Day School; Harvard Certificate of School Management/Leadership alumnus; and Columbia County’s future first trans*non-binary elected official.
The City of Hudson, one of upstate New York’s most beloved municipalities, continues to benefit from the riches of our community’s history, spirit, and talent. As a Trustee of Berkshire Country Day School for two years, I am well acquainted to the multimillion dollar educational enterprise, as well the all fiduciary duties-- representation, governance, stewardship, and advocacy. This is my mindset in approaching the important and cautious task of stewardship that is leading on a Board. I look forward to close study of any and all past, present, and future materials and dialogue with Board peers on all matters.
I was proud to write a letter of support the DEI implementation process (unanimously approved) and continue to look forward to supporting the School District in meeting and exceeding the spirit and letter of the NY DASA (Dignity of Students Act).
On a personal note, my mother, a Cuban-American immigrant, grew up with years of xenophobic taunting in the Clayton County, Georgia, School district in the 1970s. We know, now, that this type of behavior has no place in our schools. I am very committed to equality of opportunity and passionate about racial (and linguistic) justice work, closing the achievement gap, and collaborating in our community’s unfoldment into continuous improvement of educational excellence.