Jason Lavoie Submitted photo

Name:  Jason M. Lavoie

Age: 37

Occupation: Educational technician in a special education autism classroom at Walton School in Auburn

Community engagement: Member of Auburn Education Association, Maine Education Association, Lewiston Democratic Party, Looking Ahead Clubhouse in Lewiston.

Question 1: Do you believe students should be required to wear a mask in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions? 
I support national and state Center for Disease Control guidelines regarding masks in public schools. At this time, I would support masks indoors during school hours as a mandate and as suggested by CDC and health officials. When it comes to decision-making on COVID-19 policy, I will always air on the side of supporting the input from doctors and medical officials when I make my votes and decisions.

Question 2: Do you feel that issues of equity and race are being appropriately addressed in Lewiston schools? 

We have more work to do to address race and equity. We need to address equity by teaching staff better on addressing race and LGBTQ issues. We also need to not have any more Department of Education settlements because of our disciplinary practices as a school department. Keep the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning model and give it strength! As a diverse community, our schools need to have policies that recognize this diversity.

Question 3: What are two specific issues you would address as a School Committee representative? 

The two biggest issues facing Lewiston Public Schools right now are the COVID-19 pandemic and the retention and attraction of school staff. I would like to address both of these by listening to health care professionals and our teachers when it comes to catching students up with learning loss due to COVID-19 and keep our great staff and attract new staff by marketing (Lewiston Public Schools) and offering more competitive salaries.


Megan Parks Submitted photo

Name: Megan D. Parks

Age: 43

Occupation: Substance use and mental health clinician, director of shelter programs at Lewiston Wellness & Quarantine Program, former cultural case manager, former restorative-based diversion program director for at-risk youth, former special education and general education education technician III.

Community engagement: I am a mom to Lewiston students and have been very active in our schools and our community serving on several committees and volunteer work.

Question 1: Do you believe students should be required to wear a mask in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions?  

I believe that as long as Androscoggin County transmission rates are within the two highest Center for Disease Control community transmission rate categories, “substantial” and “high,” students and staff should be wearing masks in school.  If/when our community transmission rates drop back down to “low” or “moderate,” masking in schools should be optional. Whenever possible, we should avoid mandates and instead educate the community, rather than forcing compliance, and respect personal and parental choice.

Question 2: Do you feel that issues of equity and race are being appropriately addressed in Lewiston schools?

It is important to acknowledge the work that is being done, but I feel we have a long way to go before we can claim we are a school district that is effectively embracing and supporting our growing diversity. We need to focus on actively and intentionally attracting diverse teachers and staff to work in our district so our students can relate to and see themselves in their role models, and updating our discipline policies.

Question 3: What are two specific issues you would address as a School Committee representative? 

I cannot pick just two specific issues. We need to continue to work toward equitable schools; to pay our teachers and front-line staff higher salaries/wages; to fix our special education program; to build kids up socially and educationally from COVID learning loss; a budget that meets students’ needs without taxpayer increases; greater support for student homelessness; consistent enforcement of an appropriate dress code policy; and much less politics and divisiveness on the School Committee.

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