Monday, February 25, 2008

Principal Search Details

Last week the Crocker Farm community had the opportunity to meet with Sandra Delaney, Catarina da Silva, Mike Morris, Ray Sharick and Jill Pasquini-Torcia, the 5 candidates for the 3 open elementary school principal positions in Amherst. About 30 CF parents came to each of the meetings. It is expected that hiring decisions will be made soon.

5 finalists to be interviewed for 3 principal slots

Posted by The Republican Newsroom
February 25, 2008 14:01PM

AMHERST - Three of the five finalists for the three elementary principal jobs are from Western Massachusetts.

School officials released the names of the five as interviews will begin with the public tonight at 6:30 at the Amherst Regional Middle School.

The only candidate from within Amherst schools is Michael Morris, who is currently interim assistant principal at Crocker Farm School. Previously, he worked as a classroom teacher at Crocker Farm and Fort River Elementary School.

Raymond M. Sharick is principal of the Fisher Hill Elementary School in Orange. Before becoming an administrator, Sharick was an elementary classroom teacher in Pennsylvania.

Other candidates are Catarina A. da Silva, a doctoral candidate at Steinhardt School of Education at New York University who previously taught in elementary schools; Sandra L. Delaney, assistant director of curriculum and instruction in the Newton public schools, and Jill S. Pasquini-Torchia of Easthampton, who served as assistant principal of Gilmore Academy, a public school in Brockton.

Delaney spent today with school officials and will meet with the Wildwood Elementary School community at 6:30 p.m., the Crocker Farm community at 7:15 p.m. and the Fort River community at 8 p.m.

Morris and da Silva will spend tomorrow with school officials and meet with each schools' community starting at 6:30 p.m. Sharick and Pasquini-Torcia will spend Wednesday with school officials and meet with the public starting at 6:30 p.m.

All public meetings are in the middle school cafeteria, auditorium or library.

More details in The Republican tomorrow.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings grab another CF friend and head to the Middle School to meet the 5 finalist candidates for the 3 open principal positions in Amherst. The Superintendent will be collecting your opinion surveys your impressions will be reviewed. Your kids are welcome to join in this process so bring them along. If however they wouldn’t be “helpful” during the 40 minute interview session, Childcare will be available at the Middle School. Please come a bit early if you are dropping off kids for childcare.

We hope you plan to meet ALL the candidates. (Yes, we know, going out 3 nights next week isn’t appealing, but both we and FR have had our present principals for the past 18 years, so this is a REALLY important decision.) As soon as the names of the candidates are released on Monday, we will send out an email and we’ll keep the blog up to date. All 3 schools will have the opportunity to meet each candidate each evening. Here is Crocker’s schedule:

Monday Feb. 25
Candidate #1 7:15 – 7:55pm in the Middle School Library

Tuesday Feb. 26
Candidate #3 6:30-7:10pm in the Middle School Library
(**During the 50 minute break in between, Crocker Farm community can meet together in the front lobby for cookies and drinks and chat.)
Candidate #2 8:00 – 8:40pm in the Middle School Library

Wednesday Feb. 27
Candidate #5 6:30-7:10pm in the Middle School Library
Candidate #4 8:00 – 8:40pm in the Middle School Library
(**We are hoping this schedule will be switched so that CF doesn’t have to have the break between interviews again on Wednesday, stay tuned.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Principal Search Update

Your help is needed, as the Principal Search moves to the next phase and finalist candidates are invited in to the schools.

Please SAVE THE DATES: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening Feb. 25, 26 & 27 right after the Winter Break to come and meet the candidates. They will be spending the day visiting the schools and meeting kids, and in the evening, you can come out and meet them.

Please remember, that this search is taking place for all 3 schools and teams from each school have been meeting with all the candidates. Now it’s your turn to meet them, and a strong show of interest and feedback by CF families will be very important to help Jere Hochman, our Superintendent, make the best decision for all the schools.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Winter Concert Thursday

Join the fine musicians of Crocker Farm at 1:30pm on Thursday afternoon for a special concert highlighting their talents on strings, woodwinds and brass.

PGO Meeting Thursday 2/14

The next PGO meeting is Thursday Feb. 14th at 6:30pm... don't worry, we'll get you back to your loved ones as fast as we can! Lots coming up this spring & we'll be planning the details. Come to learn about how you can let your talents be tapped! As always, free childcare provided.
Roses are Red.
Violets are Blue.
Crocker Farm is the best!
The PGO loves you!

Walking with Dinosaurs - Discount Ticket Offer!

First New England Performance in 65 Million Years! Dinosaurs come to life on stage at UMass. Enter the code "GSMC" to receive a $5 discount off Thursday and Friday night shows! Click here for a sneak peek! and here to buy tickets.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


We are so PSYCHED to announce that the ROCKIN' CROC WON the BEST DESIGN category in the "Cardboard Classic Sled Race" at Winterfest Saturday!! Ok, not so fast on the hill, but we sure looked great!

There was sure was some stiff competition - sleds made to look like a jeep, a pineapple, a turtle, a bull, a firetruck, a police car, a solar powered house, a dragon and a Belgian horse, among others. But our great green crocodile stood out! Here are a few pictures from the race:

Q: How many Crocker Farmers can you fit in a sled? A: 7!!!

Here's the sled from Muddy Brook Farm:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Budget Coordinating Committee Public Forum

Community Voices and Budget Choices: Planning for a Stronger Future AND Looking at Ways to Fund It

What's important to you as the town plans the budget for next year? Our Town • Our Schools • Our Libraries. We Need To Hear From You! Date: Monday, February 11, 2008 / Time: 7:30 p.m. / Location: Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium

The forum will be preceded at 7:00 p.m. by a League of Women Voters presentation on “The Whys and Wherefores of Budgeting in Towns and Cities in the Commonwealth. Please also plan to attend this excellent presentation!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Baskets, Books & Chocolate Silent Auction

Come by the Jones Library to bid on beautiful baskets at the 11th Annual Valentine Basket Fundraiser for Books. Each of the 100+ baskets has a theme and all include at least one book and something chocolate in addition to the other fantastic goodies (for ex. the “Perfect Parent Basket” has an Eric Carle membership and a Science Activities journal among other cool items). Bidding is going on now and will end at 4:00pm on Saturday February 9th.

New this year: the Buy It Now! Party on Thursday Feb. 7th from 6:30 – 9:00pm (be ready to pay the full value of the basket or $10 more than the highest bid, which ever is higher). There will be free refreshments and chocolates served all evening and a demonstration by cookbook author Leslie Cerier too.

Vote for Crocker Farm!!

A HUGE thank you to all of those who baked and staffed the table at yesterday's Election Day Bake Sale! The outpouring of muffins, cookies, brownies, cakes, scones and more was impressive (not to mention delicious)!

Thanks to your help and the generosity of the voters who bought the treats, the PGO earned just over $400.00!!! You'll see this money showing up in all the good things we do around the school soon.

A special thanks to Gina Fusco (aka Betty Crocker) who helped to pull this together in a flash & with great humor and patience. :)

Stop & Shop A+ BonusBucks Update

Good news, Crocker Farm school has now earned $361.48 through the A+ BonusBucks program! This is fantastic & it's real money that will be put to good use next year: it's the cost of a field trip to a local museum, it's the cost of the All School Musical, it's the cost to bring a Hitchcock Center teacher to the school. These things really matter to our children.

There are still only 39 of our approximately 200 families signed up for the program. It's not too late - the program runs through March! Click HERE. CF's code is 05194.

Help Our Schools - Run for Town Meeting!

The size of our Amherst schools budget is set by Town Meeting. We need more parents to represent our community in Town Meeting so that rational short and long term decisions can be made that will support our schools and a family-friendly Amherst.
I know, I know, who has the time? That's why families are not well represented in Town Meeting, we're busy with kids, families, jobs! But the commitment is not as large as you think - only about 14 nights per year from 7:30pm to 10pm. And you don't need to attend *every* night - you can skip the "feel-good" nights where impeachment and Iran are being discussed. 14 nights per year - really not that much to help make Amherst a more sustainable town that continues to be friendly to families. You probably spend that much time watching PBS reruns about English Queens!

There are lots of good folks already there. We recruited and elected over 70 parents the last 2 years. And it showed - this year for the first time, Town Meeting passed a series of positive zoning changes that will enable the kind of economic development our town needs to fund the schools. But the majority is slim, and the NIMBY contingents are actively recruiting people to run for Town Meeting to stop any new revenue development in town.

More information on Town Meeting here:
Amherst's families really need you. All you have to do is go down to the Town Clerk's office in Town Hall before Tuesday Feb. 12th and sign your papers. We'd be happy to answer any questions you may have, just email or call!

Thanks, Baer Tierkel (
Andy Churchill (
Clare Bertrand (

Monday, February 4, 2008

Parenting From Your Heart

Tuesday Feb. 5, 6:30 - 8:00pm in the CF Library This is an evening workshop with Jerry Koch-Gonzales, a social justice advocate and teacher. You can drop your kids off in the Cafeteria (childcare provided for free) and join us in the Library for a workshop on parenting with compassion. Learn how to create stronger relationship with your kids and share your own parenting stories. Brought to you by the PGO.