Around Amherst: Teachers to be honored

Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

AMHERST — All teachers and paraprofessionals working on behalf of students in Amherst and Pelham’s elementary schools will be honored with the Roger L. Wallace Excellence in Teaching Award this fall.

While the award has, for the past seven years, been given to one teacher nominated and then selected from the four schools, the committee this year decided that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an in-person award ceremony and dinner would not be possible.

In a letter to the community, the foundation’s board members wrote, “This year we are aware that the entire teaching staff is stepping up, under difficult circumstances, resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, to enable all students to continue learning while school is not in session. We honor and applaud all this excellent work, and especially the ways that social justice issues are included and addressed in these fine efforts by teachers.”

Wallace is the longtime Fort River teacher who retired in 2012.

Wallce Foundation board member Andrea Battle said a plaque will be made for each of the schools to display and to show appreciation “for efforts on behalf of students without any notice,” adding that teachers were put in a challenging position in the spring when all-remote instruction began.

New award for retired UMass faculty

Linda J. Shea, professor emerita and former associate dean of the Isenberg School of Management, is the first recipient of a new grant program to assist retired faculty with scholarly work.

The Retired Faculty Association at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst recently announced the creation of the Scholarly Activities Fund, funded by the Office of the Provost, that will go toward projects that enhance the scholarly or creative lives of their recipients, their intellectual community and the university.

For Shea, the award funds will help defray the cost of attending a top academic conference in her specialty, which is hospitality and tourism, participate in leadership meetings of a key journal in this specialty, as the executive editor, and conduct a workshop on academic publishing.

Comfort dog gets a name

A new comfort dog for Amherst Police will be be called Winston following 6,000 votes from the community and numerous shares via Facebook.

K9 Winston, donated by Peggi and David Brogan of Boonefield Labradors in new Hampshire, will be sworn into the department this week.

A male English chocolate Labrador retriever, Winston will partner with Officer Bill Laramee.

He can be followed on Instagram at @winston_apd_ma_comfort_dog/

Amherst Survival Center shed

A shed to be placed in the parking lot at the Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Road, will allow for continued provision of food and groceries to people as the weather gets cooler.

The Planning Board recently approved installation of the shed. It will replace a tent that has been set up throughout the spring and summer as many of the center’s activities moved outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

League of Women Voters talk

“Race, Gender and Voting in the Age of Trump” is the title of Traci Parker's talk sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Amherst at an open meeting Sept. 17.

Parker, an assistant professor of African American Studies at UMass, will do the presentation via Zomm from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

To register for the talk, go to LWVAmherst.org.