Shutesbury Notebook

Community festival set for Saturday

Shutesbury residents will congregate on the Town Common Saturday to take part in the Celebrate Shutesbury festival, an annual event to recognize members of the community and focus on life in town.

The event, which is hosted by the Shutesbury Education Foundation, will take place rain or shine and will feature food, live music, pumpkin painting, sporting events and tours of the old Town Hall building.

“It’s a time to get together with friends and neighbors and really just have a good time,” said Dina Stander, one of the festival’s organizers. “We don’t have another town fair, so this is what we do.”

Stander said the town’s People of the Past re-enactment group will also be at the event. Members don costumes and play the roles of prominent historical members of the Shutesbury community.

The People of the Past, a group of 20 or so members, formed out of the Shutesbury 250th Anniversary Committee, said member Karen Traub. The group has appeared at various events, including a cemetery walk where those portraying people buried there stood by the graves talking about their lives. At the Celebrate Shutesbury event during the town’s Sestercentennial year in 2011, the group performed a play called “The Tavern of Time,” which depicted the history of the town. Traub said that the group was asked to have some of the characters strolling around the event this year.

According to Stander, the Shutesbury Farmers Market will also relocate to the Town Common for the day and will be open for business during the event.

“Celebrate Shutesbury is a labor of love for the Shutesbury Education Foundation and we really enjoy it,” Stander said. “People come out and are happy that they’ve come. Mostly, it’s just to feel good that we all live here.”

School board chair named to Amherst Pelham board

Shutesbury School Committee Chairman Michael DeChiara has been selected to serve as the town’s representative to the Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee, a position that he held last year as well.

According to DeChiara, he agreed to take the position after none of the other local school committee members volunteered to step into the role. School Committee member Sean Woodard-McNiff volunteered to serve as the town’s alternate representative.

New Shutesbury Elementary hires

Shutesbury Elementary School has added a number of new faces to its staff this year, including two new teachers, two paraprofessionals, an after-school program employee and a food service director.

The school’s fifth- and sixth-grade classes will be taught by Andrea Hermans, who has taught at public schools in the eastern part of the state, and Evelynn Goodhind will replace art teacher B.Z. Reily when she retires in October.

Shutesbury resident Lauren Thomas-Paquin and Antti Kaisla, a certified art teacher who came to the Pioneer Valley from Finland, will serve as paraprofessionals supporting the school’s kindergarten classes and third-graders.

Gail Beauregard will be taking on the position of food service director. According principal Maureen Ryan, Beauregard held the position in 2006 but left to focus on her business, the Copper Angel restaurant in Erving, which has since closed.

Michael Wilkins, a certified fitness trainer who is pursuing a teaching certificate for physical education, will work with children who participate in the after-school program.

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