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Schools

YOSHITAKA HAMADA
Jowel Iranzi speaks to students at  Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton on Tuesday. Iranzi is a survivor of genocides and political violence in Africa and now works for the Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts.

Refugee of war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo relates his story to Smith Vocational and Agricultural School students

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Jowel Iranzi was barely 10 years old in 1996 when his life was turned upside down by war in his home country of Zaire — now the Democratic Republic of Congo. His family fled to Rwanda, then to Burundi, before war broke out there too. His father was killed in the violence. When he fled to Tanzania in …

Easthampton school notes: Easthampton High School student Bryan Delaney keynoter at annual conference

Monday, September 29, 2014

Easthampton High School senior Bryan Delaney will be a keynote speaker at “Find Your Voice,” the third annual Youth Conference on Substance Abuse Prevention Oct. 8 at Greenfield Community College. The conference, organized by Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan’s office, aims to steer youth away from substance abuse through peer education. Mary Carey, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said this year’s …

Easthampton says farewell to Tim Luce, retiring Maple School principal, welcomes Judith Averill, whom he mentored

Monday, September 29, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — It could be said that Maple School Principal Thomas “Tim” Luce began his education career as a high school student in Connecticut, when as a member of the “Future Teachers” club, he tutored children at local elementary schools. “Who would have guessed?” he said with a laugh. Luce, 57, of Conway, …

Easthampton High School Class of 1944 will hold 70th reunion Saturday

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — When members of the Easthampton High School Class of 1944 wanted to get their senior yearbook to all of their classmates, it meant having to track down Army Post Office addresses for some of them. “It was a carefree time in your life, but a tough …

Area briefs

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Northampton TEACHING POLISH: Beginning this week, the Rev. Adam Czarnecki of St. Valentine Parish, 127 King St., is teaching Polish language classes at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the parish hall of the church. There is no charge. For further information, call the rectory office at 584-0133. Deerfield ART …

Coakley’s plan for universal pre-kindergarten draws GOP rebuke

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BOSTON — Democratic candidate for governor Martha Coakley says her plan to eliminate a waiting list of 17,000 children seeking state vouchers for pre-kindergarten programs would cost an estimated $150 million annually. Coakley, who hadn’t previously put a price tag on the plan, vowed to begin moving children …

Belchertown School Committee names Karol Coffin new superintendent

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — After a brief deliberation, the School Committee voted unanimously Tuesday night to name Karol Coffin, currently principal of the Wamsutta Middle School in Attleboro, the new superintendent. After the vote, committee Chairman Richard Fritsch telephoned Coffin …

Hampshire Regional School District reviews applicants for interim assistant principal of middle school

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — Hampshire Regional High School is seeking a new interim assistant principal to head the middle school. Superintendent Craig Jurgensen said that Jesse Porter-Henry left his job as interim assistant principal for middle level programming and academic affairs at the combination middle and high school. Porter-Henry, formerly …

South Hadley teachers reach agreement on three-year contract with 2 percent annual raises, benefit reduction

Friday, September 12, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — A new three-year contract for teachers includes a 2 percent annual pay raise and added longevity pay. It also contains a reduction in benefits and increased work hours. Similar agreements were reached with four other bargaining units. Superintendent Nicholas Young said he is currently negotiating …

Amherst School Superintendent Maria Geryk gets $11,000 raise, increasing her salary to $158,000

Thursday, September 11, 2014

AMHERST — Amherst School Superintendent Maria Geryk has been given an $11,000 salary increase by the school boards that serve the Amherst-Pelham Regional School district, boosting her annual salary to $158,000. The raise was announced in a press …

Bob the horse, Smith Voke’s unofficial mascot, dies at 34

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Bob, a Belgian draft horse who became the “unofficial mascot” of Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, received a mint every day for the last 15 years of his life. This was his reward for saving …

HILLTOWN VOICES: Renovated Anne T. Dunphy School impresses students, teachers and parents

Friday, September 5, 2014

Anne T. Dunphy School Principal Stacey Jenkins said it for many Tuesday morning as Williamsburg students and families streamed in for the first day of school in a long-awaited new building. “We are very excited today, I can’t …

UMass unions rally on campus, claim existing benefits at risk during contract negotiations

Friday, September 5, 2014

AMHERST — Contentious contract negotiations and claims that University of Massachusetts administrators want to take back union benefits prompted an hour-long campus rally led by employees Friday. Holding yellow signs and wearing yellow stickers reading “UMass Unions United to Protect Our Rights,” more than 200 members, joined by …