Northborough Candidate Statement – School Committee – Gigi Lisa Howell

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Northborough Candidate Statement – School Committee – Gigi Lisa HowellPlease provide a brief biographical background on yourself. What should voters know about you?

I grew up in Framingham, then joined the military after high school at the age of 18. I met my husband in the service, and we are still together 13 years later. I have traveled all over the world and finally settled here in the amazing town of Northborough. Most importantly, I am a mother of two amazing children, they are my everything. I am now a veteran and working as mental health counselor serving the Worcester and Metrowest counties. I have various experiences in mental health and have a vast cultural diverse background. I am intensely invested and continue to bring awareness to the lack of mental health resources within our community here in Northborough and in our schools.

Why are you running? 

I am running to help bridge the gap between the mental health setbacks our schools, staff/administration and most importantly our babies are facing every day. There are no sides to choose here. Remember our goal is to vote in a member who will be diverse, and advocate for the parents, not themselves. I am running to help create a team within the Northborough School Committee, not a side. It takes a village to raise our babies, let us set the example and work together as a team to support our village of Northborough.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Northborough School Committee?

1. Lack of mental health professionals and knowledge within the school committee & our school community on how to successfully obtain and apply mental health resources for our children and their families who are struggling.

2. The current School Committee does not represent, exemplify or efficiently exert a diverse stance representing the Northborough families accurately.

3. The lack of efforts to connect with the parents directly, and hear their concerns. Also, accessibility to access to this information. Running these past two years, I have received great feedback on the disappointment and concerns parents are experiencing regarding their voices not being herd.

How would you address these issues?

By providing my experience, knowledge and diverse multicultural background when advocating for our Northborough Families. By getting out into the community, and not hiding behind zoom meetings and connecting with the parents to advocate for what they want for their children. By getting out to the community, this allows parents to understand the material fully that we are voting for. This allows families to ask questions. Parents deserve a clear understanding of what the School Committee is trying to accomplish on behalf of the children. I want to address these issues by not choosing or creating a side, but creating a village to support our children within the schools and community so every parent understands fully

After more than two years, COVID-19 has started to recede. How do you believe the schools are handling the impact from the pandemic – mental health, MCAS scores, etc.?

I work in the field, and receive calls from the Metrowest Schools including the Boroughs everyday in need of mental health services. We ARE NOT DOING NEARLY enough to support the mental health setbacks and crisis our schools, babies and parents are currently facing.

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