The first two candidates for election by ward this year to the Haverhill School Committee—both competing for Ward 5—made it official this weekend.
Lynette Hickey, who argued last year for the end of mandatory student masking, and Jill Story, who has been active in the Haverhill Education Coalition’s push for grade level reading by third grade, launched their respective candidacies for the first election under the mostly ward-based system.
“Haverhill Public Schools have certainly seen their share of problems, and are currently dealing with many of the same issues plaguing schools all across the country: high truancy rates, delayed academic achievement, multiple job openings remaining unfilled, teachers suffering burnout and countless numbers of students with varying degrees of mental health issues, just to name a few,” Hickey said in a statement given to WHAV. She added, “Some of these issues stem from the two years of pandemic related chaos we all dealt with, but some can be blamed on years of failed policies, lack of funding and resources and curriculums which prioritize standardized tests over practical life skills.”
Story, who is assistant principal at Medford High School, said in a statement on social media, “Professionally, I have worked in the field of education for more than two decades, as a teacher, department chair, assistant principal and college instructor, and I hold a doctorate in education. I am a strong advocate for our schools, and I am passionate about moving our district forward.”
She said she is a parent of three children who have attended Silver Hill, Sacred Hearts, Dr. Albert B. Consentino and Haverhill High School. Story has lived in Haverhill for 20 years.
In her statement, Hickey said she and her husband have lived in Haverhill since 2006 and have four children who attend Haverhill public schools. She noted she is active in the Haverhill High School Site Council and in operating the PTO-sponsored school store at Consentino.
The only other declared candidates to formally notify WHAV so far this year are City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett, seeking the post of mayor; and Carmen Garcia-King and Stephen J. Costa, both for Ward 2 city councilor.
Only three current elected officials are exempt from seeking re-election this year. They are Paul A. Magliocchetti, Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello and Richard J. Rosa. Each were re-elected to four-year terms in 2021 and legislation, approving Haverhill’s electoral changes, permits them to complete their current terms. All future elected officials will serve two-year terms.