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Michael DeChiara: Don't ‘Quabbin-ize’ push for clean energy
05-15-2024 5:21 PM

The Quabbin Reservoir is a powerful reminder of towns being steamrolled by state government to get its way. Almost 100 years after construction began, the same dynamic is at play again, this time motivated by a narrow interpretation on how to expedite...

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Herman signs on as Amherst-Pelham Regional superintendent
05-21-2024 4:53 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A superintendent for the St. Croix, Virgin Islands Department of Education has reached terms of a contract and will be the next superintendent for the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham regional schools beginning July 1, earning $176,500 in...


Amherst Regional’s track project likely in council’s lap
05-17-2024 4:30 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Town Council is likely to determine the scope of renovations to the Amherst Regional High School track and its interior field after the Regional School Committee this week deferred the final decision on the project to Amherst’s elected...


Rebecca Lee: Counter corporate capture
05-10-2024 4:18 PM

In Olin Rose-Bardawil’s column “Corporate capture a grave threat to citizens” [Gazette, April 11], he argues that corporate involvement in agencies is determining federal regulations, which results in increased profits for industries, leaving people...


Sharing a few notes: High schoolers coaching younger string players one on one
05-07-2024 3:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Carefully holding and balancing his violin, 12-year-old Heedo Noh, a Fort River School sixth grader, gets a suggestion for positioning the bow so it runs straight across the strings as he practices G.F. Handel’s “Chorus from Judas...


Funding will limit ARHS track/field makeover to cheapest option
05-06-2024 5:10 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Widening the existing track from six to eight lanes and rejuvenating the interior grass field appears to be the extent of renovations that can be done to Amherst Regional High School’s track and field because of limited funding.While the...


Island superintendent picked to lead Amherst-Pelham region schools
04-30-2024 9:17 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Ericilda Xiomara Herman, a superintendent of a school district in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, will be the next superintendent for the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional schools, pending successful contract negotiations.Citing...


Shutesbury voters back battery storage bylaw at Town Meeting
04-29-2024 12:18 PM

By SHELBY BROCK

SHUTESBURY — Voters gave their blessing to a new bylaw regulating large-scale battery storage and 27 other articles at Saturday’s Annual Town Meeting, with votes on adopting a specialized energy code for buildings and enacting a solicitation bylaw...


Final pick for Amherst regional superintendent, from Virgin Islands, aims to ‘lead with love’
04-26-2024 4:34 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Editor’s note: The third of three finalists for the job of superintendent was interviewed Thursday. A decision could be made as soon as Monday. AMHERST — Collaboration, empathy and communication are being emphasized as traits Ericilda Xiomara Herman,...


Amherst Regional School Committee proposes new budget that lowers assessments for towns
04-26-2024 11:31 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The Amherst Regional School Committee agreed on Wednesday to a new budget proposal for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools next year that is nearly $500,000 less than a spending plan approved in March. The new budget means smaller 6%...


Super defers Amherst middle school principal pick to successor; one finalist says decision is retaliation for lawsuit
04-25-2024 3:54 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Interim Superintendent Douglas Slaughter has opted against hiring a permanent middle school principal despite a search that yielded three finalists, a decision one of those finalists says is retaliation against her because she recently filed...


Amherst regional superintendent candidate stresses collaboration, experience
04-25-2024 8:39 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Editor’s note: The second of three finalists for the job of superintendent was interviewed Tuesday. The final candidate will be interviewed Thursday. AMHERST — Experience in teaching, administration and establishing collaborative relationships,...


Shutesbury TM on Saturday will rule on battery storage, lighting bylaws, citizen petitions and hold elections
04-23-2024 11:37 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — Bylaws to regulate large-scale battery storage, limit outdoor light pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in new housing construction and control door-to-door solicitors will be considered by residents at annual Town Meeting...


Amherst regional district towns seek middle ground on school increase
04-23-2024 10:44 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Scaled-back increases in the assessments for the Amherst Regional Schools are expected to be considered by residents when Shutesbury and Leverett hold their annual Town Meetings on Saturday.But the compromise 6% increases over the current...


Revised plan to combat bullying in Amherst regional schools questioned
04-16-2024 3:38 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A revised plan for investigating bullying and stopping such incidents at the Amherst-Pelham regional schools is raising concerns for some members of the Regional School Committee, who see the changes as taking a backward step.“This new...


Sadiq to leave Amherst middle school principal role
04-16-2024 11:04 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — As a process continues to find a permanent Amherst Regional Middle School principal, High School Principal Talib Sadiq is relinquishing his oversight of the building where seventh and eighth graders are educated.Interim Superintendent...


Shutesbury Elementary School principal leaving in June after 10 years
04-15-2024 9:31 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — After 10 years as principal at Shutesbury Elementary School, Jacqueline Mendonsa is leaving the position at the end of June to relocate to the Boston area.“It is very hard for me to put into words my true love and appreciation for our...


Amherst-Pelham schools look to address school absences with new plan
04-14-2024 10:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Understanding that chronic absences affect the ability of students to learn and contributes to achievement gaps among some school populations, the Amherst-Pelham Regional schools are developing steps to reduce absenteeism as part of its...


Amherst regional superintendent candidate stresses inclusion, broad expertise
04-12-2024 5:42 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Editor’s note: The first of three finalists for the job of superintendent was interviewed this week. Stories about visits of the other two finalists will appear when they interview the week of April 22.AMHERST — A strong work ethic, an ability to...


Amherst officials cool to bid to double spending hike for regional schools
04-10-2024 4:10 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A request for nearly $1 million more from the four member towns of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District to support a $35.75 million fiscal year 2025 budget for the regional schools is being met with a lukewarm response and skepticism...


In federal lawsuit, teacher accuses Amherst schools of violating civil rights, other district policies
04-08-2024 4:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A special education teacher who previously led the teachers union has filed a federal discrimination and defamation lawsuit against the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools, its current interim superintendent and its former leaders.An...

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