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Sharing a few notes: High schoolers coaching younger string players one on one
05-10-2024 9:13 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

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 Maccabaeus.”“Good,”...

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Amherst council raises concern over bearing brunt of track expenses
05-30-2024 5:41 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Members of the Amherst Town Council are expressing concern about being asked to appropriate more money for a preferred track and field overhaul at Amherst Regional High School, when no similar requests are being made to the other towns in...


Herman signs on as Amherst-Pelham Regional superintendent
05-28-2024 10:49 AM

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
05-28-2024 10:49 AM

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 deferred the final decision on the project last week to Amherst’s elected...


Michael DeChiara: Don't ‘Quabbin-ize’ push for clean energy
05-28-2024 10:46 AM

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...


Funding will limit ARHS track/field makeover to cheapest option
05-10-2024 9:24 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...


Super defers Amherst middle school principal pick to successor; one finalist says decision is retaliation for lawsuit
05-10-2024 9:18 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...


Island superintendent picked to lead Amherst-Pelham region schools
05-06-2024 5:38 PM

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...


Amherst Regional School Committee proposes new budget that lowers assessments for towns
05-06-2024 5:38 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The Amherst Regional School Committee has agreed 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% assessment...


Revised plan to combat bullying in Amherst regional schools questioned
04-29-2024 8:37 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...


Amherst regional superintendent candidate stresses inclusion, broad expertise
04-18-2024 7:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Editor’s note: The first of three finalists for the job of superintendent was interviewed last 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...


Shutesbury Elementary School principal leaving in June after 10 years
04-18-2024 7:22 PM

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 officials cool to bid to double spending hike for regional schools
04-11-2024 6:33 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
04-11-2024 6:31 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...


Small towns wary of Amherst Regional committee’s school budget ask
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Skepticism and uncertainty from officials in Pelham, Leverett and Shutesbury over Amherst Regional School Committee’s appeal for nearly $1 million more from the four member towns is prompting the convening of a four-town meeting next month...


School backers press council for boost to Amherst regional budget
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Parents, educators and members of the Regional School Committee are making direct appeals to the Amherst Town Council to support a $35.75 million fiscal year 2025 budget that is nearly $1 million above the financial guidance provided by...


Three candidates in running for Amherst superintendent
04-01-2024 11:50 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Three educators, two who work in Massachusetts and the other in the Virgin Islands, are finalists to become the next superintendent for the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional schools.The Superintendent Search Committee on Tuesday...


Shutesbury library lands $10K accessibility grant
04-01-2024 11:45 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — A project to improve accessibility for patrons at the current Shutesbury library and the new library building that will break ground in June is being supported by a $10,000 grant from the American Library Association.Library Director Mary...


Guest columnist Matteo Pangallo: Why we must fully fund our schools
04-01-2024 11:40 AM

By MATTEO PANGALLO

The Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee demonstrated leadership, forward thinking, and sound judgment in proposing a budget that actually faces reality and calls on the towns of the district to meet the full costs of providing our children with...


Amherst regional school board reaches for $1M add to budget
03-24-2024 2:17 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A $35.75 million fiscal year 2025 budget for the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District that preserves 14 educator positions at the middle and high schools, but requires each of the four district towns to more than double their projected...


Three finalists in running for Amherst Regional Middle School principal
03-24-2024 2:17 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Amherst Regional Middle School’s dean of students and administrators at middle schools in New Bedford and Wrentham are finalists to become principal at the middle school, a position that has been filled on an interim basis this school year...

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