Northborough Candidate Statement – Regional School Committee – Gigi Lisa Howell

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Northborough Candidate Statement – Regional School Committee – Gigi Lisa Howell
Gigi Lisa Howell

Why are you running?

I would love the opportunity as a committee member to bring my unique talents and experience to the table to assist in collaborating with the current team. If voted in, I will be able to ensure the parents of Northborough have a voice and are included in all decision making across the board. Most importantly, when I cast my vote on pending matters, it is on behalf of what the parents want, not solely off personal or someone else’s one-track agenda.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Regional School Committee in order of importance?

The current committee is doing good work; I would like to see more of a solid foundation that will nurture our current conducive growth within our schools, including updated security. I would like to see a stronger harmonious relationship between school committees to enhance and improve Northborough’s standards with competing towns. Lastly, I would like to see the regional school committee conduct more self-evaluation of their effectiveness in reaching their goals regarding performance and upholding the role within the public-school governance.

How well do you think Algonquin Regional High School addresses the current education needs of Northborough? Please explain your answer. 

The current Regional High School Committee hitting the benchmark regarding addressing the current educational needs in Northborough would be best graded on a scale 1-10. In my opinion, we currently are at a 5. Our community deserves better and especially after COVID we should be at a 9 or 10 on the benchmark, and not stopping there. Educational needs include academics, special needs of course but also include the whole individual pertaining to their mental health and overall health in order to achieve high educational benchmarks.

Looking to the future, what steps should Algonquin take to secure the educational needs of 2030?

Engaging with superintendent, teachers and staff regarding revision of curriculum as well as providing the most current textbooks / online textbooks to our youth, our future leaders. Additionally, supporting and promoting our vision, our mission, goals and strategies within the community, allowing parents to get more engaged. Lastly, we must prioritize the health and well-being of our future leaders. The setbacks with COVID pandemic continue to take a toll on the physical and mental health of our students, staff and educators. As a mental health provider, I took note during our most recent annual town meeting it was brought to light on conjoining the needs for mental health with the much-needed family youth services including resources. These issues are too big to collaborate, and I firmly believe the future educational needs must separate but also include the collaboration of these two major contributing factors within our educational system in order to successfully bridge the gap to secure educational needs in the future.

What role do you see the School Committee and Algonquin playing in sustainability initiatives?

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” – Brundtland Commission 1987.

I strongly believe that the school committee should be taking on the role of inclusion and equity by means of delivering to our community our commitment to sustainability, regarding real measures that support our core values. Northborough School Committe’s core values include to educate, inspire and challenge by implementing integrity, empathy, inclusivity, equity, perseverance and respect. I see a role needing to be filled that aims to create our own “sustainability toolkit” where we can access training, tools and other resources to educators, parents and the community on sustainability. Providing these resources as well as eLearning programs for students to initiate the process of integrating sustainability into operations and their culture for successful future leaders here in Northborough.

What is your relevant experience to serve on the Regional School Committee? 

My endeavors to become a part of any Northborough Committees has become increasingly complex. Current members lack the ability to accept working alongside everyone that comes to the table. Despite a possible new member bringing in a new perspective other than their selective agenda, denying the ability to create a diverse committee.

I firmly believe that I am more than qualifying to hold a seat on Regional School Committee. Foremost, I am a mental health provider and have a career in Youth Crisis Services. I am engaged in collaboration with the Metrowest district police, school resource officers, school social workers. I also can provide endless resources for parents and the community. I have good public relations within the community here in Northborough. I have a good working relation with the media. Lastly, I have good standing relations with the school administration including school principals, Algonquin teachers and the career development counselors. I do not fear taking responsibility and accountability for this role.

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