Episode 119: Michelle Lipinski, Substance Abuse Disorder Awareness
On this episode, Karen speaks with Michelle Lipinski, principal of Northshore Recovery High School, a school with a feature that sets itself apart from most other schools in the country - its students all have a diagnosed substance abuse disorder.
Michelle Muffett-Lipinski is the Principal of the Northshore Recovery High School located in Beverly, Massachusetts. She is licensed as a Science Teacher, Principal/Director, Special Education Director, and Superintendent, She has served as a School Board Member and is currently a City Councilor in Dover, NH. She has over 25 years of experience as a Principal/Director in alternative school settings. Michelle is a Recovery Advocate and will continue to search for ways to help ease and eventually solve the addiction and opioid epidemic locally and nationally. She speaks around the country about the philosophy and mission of creating adolescent substance use and mental health recovery supports in academic settings. She is also a strong advocate for combining a supportive therapeutic milieu with rigorous academic standards. Michelle has played a leadership role in helping her staff develop authentic performance assessments and upholding high academic standards for students with significant risk factors. Due to her unique perspective on these issues, Michelle and her students have been featured on ABC, CNN, NBC, NECN, Anderson Cooper, and Current TV as well as other media outlets across the country, most recently MTV's 16andRecovering.
Michelle also started the icanhelp program (www.icanhelp.me), operated through her non-profit, Potential Connections, in response to the number of students who are unable to connect with a trusted community partner and consequently never receive the essential services they need to live a productive and healthy life. Most recently, she started the PASS program with many of her local school districts, Northshore YMCA, and behavioral health providers. PASS was recently awarded a multi-year grant from DPH/DESE School/Community Based Target Intervention Services Grant under the State Opioid Response (SOR). This program offers a non-punitive approach to student discipline for 10 districts on Boston's North Shore.