Millers Falls candidate hopes to bring diverse background to Selectboard


Staff Writer
Published: 9/17/2021 4:41:44 PM

Editor’s Note: This is the third in four profiles of the candidates running for election to the Montague Selectboard. The election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 21. Polls will be open from noon to 7 p.m. at the Franklin County Technical School, the Gill-Montague Senior Center and the Montague Center Fire Station.

MONTAGUE — Despite being new to Montague, Selectboard candidate Joanna Mae Boody is confident that her experience across a broad range of fields uniquely equips her for the job.

Boody, 38, grew up in Pittsfield. After graduating from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Boody eventually made her way to Millers Falls in 2018 with her husband, Caleb. Given her previous time spent in Pittsfield, North Adams and Northampton, Boody said she’s no stranger to the overall region.

“Although I might be new to this town, I’m really not new to this area and what’s happening in Montague,” Boody said.

Her confidence is bolstered by the experience she’s gained while jumping from place to place. Boody boasts a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in women’s studies from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, a master’s degree in psychology with a clinical focus from The New School in New York, and a certificate of higher education and administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Post-education, Boody has worked as an early intervention specialist, event planner, brewery manager and institutional review board coordinator. She currently serves as an institutional review board analyst at UMass Amherst and as a member of the Gill-Montague Regional School District School Committee.

“I want everyone in town to know my background is diverse,” Boody said.

She emphasized that the skills she’s honed through both school and work would cross over more effectively than some might think, should she be elected to the Selectboard to fill the seat opened by member Michael Nelson’s resignation. In particular, Boody said her studies in higher education and administration would be helpful with tasks involving management, and that her general work in educational environments has given her knowledge of school systems.

“I feel very well-rounded in terms of the types of situations I’ve had to handle,” she said.

Of all the skills she’s acquired over the course of her career, Boody highlighted her ability to be an effective listener as one of her greatest assets, should she have to work collaboratively with other Selectboard members.

“It’s incredibly important to be open and to listen to someone, even if they happen to not be happy with you at that particular moment,” she said. “My first job is to figure out what’s happening and what’s going on.”

Boody’s willingness to be a listener translates to how she hopes to extend her influence on the board.

“I don’t have anything that I’m coming out swinging for at all,” Boody said.

She said that while she wouldn’t be looking to push for any big changes immediately, she is particularly interested in addressing topics of racial inequity (including ensuring fair representation of the Spanish-speaking residents who responded to a survey reviewing the Police Department) and education, and increasing outdoor space and affordable housing.

“I’m just excited for the privilege and opportunity to be able to run for the Selectboard,” Boody said. “I look at this as a positive experience and I hope the gentlemen I’m running against see it the same way.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or

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