Checking in with … the Winters family of Williamsburg

  • Tara Winters with her two children, Lucia Winters, 12, and Shane Winters, 14.  The two dogs are Carlo and Nugget.  STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Tara Winters with her two children, Lucia Winters, 12, and Shane Winters, 14. The two dogs are Carlo and Nugget.  STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Tara Winters with her two children, Lucia Winters, 12, and Shane Winters, 14. The two dogs are Carlo and Nugget.  STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Published: 6/29/2020 12:35:21 PM
Interview with Tara Winters

Occupation: Ninth- and tenth-grade special education teacher and department program leader at Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton.

What town do you live in? Williamsburg

Who lives in the same house as you? Chris Winters, a screen printer at Mantis Graphics in Easthampton. Shane Winters, age 14, who just completed his freshman year at Hampshire Regional High School and Lucia Winters, age 12, who just completed sixth grade at Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School.

How are you dealing with the uncertainty of this time? How are you spending the summer? Do you have thoughts about the fall/winter? We feel so lucky to live in the Hilltowns and appreciate Williamsburg and the greater Valley community more than ever. We miss our relatives in New Jersey and look forward to a trip there this summer and hope to visit friends in New York, too. Other than that, we plan to spend lots of time outdoors with our dogs Carlo and Nugget (a COVID-adoptee), in our garden and playing outdoor games, time at the pool in Northampton, and lots more time cooking and baking. It’s a good time to reset. 

My thoughts about teaching and learning in the fall are on hold until we have more information. Everything happens for a reason, and when things are ready to go back to whatever “normal” is, they will, though I’m anxious to return to our school building, and I hope to return to more traditional teaching this fall. I miss my students and colleagues tremendously and worry about the effect this will have on learners in so many ways. 

How have things changed for you since the beginning of the pandemic? The things that have changed are surprising. We’ve always been a tight-knit family, and this has continued to keep us sane. But we are collectively shocked at others’ reactions and lack of respect in our nation at a time when our collective health and safety is more important than ever. We’re horrified by the ongoing actions of President Trump and his cohort and are praying for a big change this election year. We’re humbled and invigorated by the actions of so many to stand up for every person’s rights on all fronts. It is time for us all to come together and activate change. 

Are you feeling optimistic about things reopening? Or are you concerned? We’ve seen what reopening too quickly has caused in other states, and we are happy with the rollout here in Massachusetts. I am anxiously awaiting news about school this fall, as we all are. We miss the old “normal” but agree with the need to proceed with caution. We just picked up this year’s first farm share at Prospect Meadow Farm, in Hatfield, which is a special place. Last night, we finally had falafel from Pita Pockets, which was great! We long to walk downtown with a GoBerry and chill in Pulaski Park listening to music, mask-free, someday.

Anything else you’d like to add? I am incredibly grateful for my family, friends, health, neighbors and nature. I’m also very nervous about the tone this country has taken, but I have renewed hope for the youth of our country to help propel us into a safer, stronger and more equitable place. Every moment and action counts.




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