Gosselin ready to work

WESTFIELD – Jeffrey Gosselin is the newest member of the Westfield School Committee and he says he is proof that the underdog can win.
“There were four candidates for three seats and I was really the underdog,” said Gosselin, who ran against three incumbents. “It was a challenge, and I don’t shy away from a challenge.”
Gosselin, 45, drew inspiration from his mother, former longtime school committee member Sharon Merlo-Gosselin, as well as his grandmother who served the Prospect Hill School community. But it was a meeting with former Congressman Silvio O. Conte that he recalls when talking about the kind of service he wants to bring to Westfield.
“My parents really wanted us to have a lot of experiences and one of my early experiences was when I was 12 years-old and my mom put us in the car and took us to Mt. Tom in Holyoke to see Silvio O. Conte.”
That meeting left a lasting impression on Gosselin.
“I’ll never forget it – he was such a kind, jovial, positive man,” said Gosselin. “My mother always told me there were good politicians, and I thought that I could be one of those good ones.”
A lifeling Westfield resident, Gosselin is an autism assistant in Northampton and taught in the Springfield Public Schools. He was also an adjunct professor at Westfield State. Gosselin said he believes that voters saw his experience and had the oppotunity to get to know him and that’s what earned him a place on the committee.
Gosselin ran two years ago to fill the term of former committee member Laura Maloney but lost the election.
“This time, I think people got to look at me with a closer lens,” he said.
Gosselin is excited to get to work and said safety is his top priority. He said in 2009, crossing guards were cut at Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center, Papermill Elementary School and Westfield High School. One of his first goals is to restore a guard at Fort Meadow.
“Another thing I want to do is be creative wth the budget and think outside the box,” he said. “I’d like to reach out to the community resources we have here.”
Gosselin thanked his supporters for their votes and said he hopes to be a positive change for students.
“Work hard, never, never give up, and come back another day – that’s my message to our youth,” he said.

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