With Abundant Patience & a Sense of Irony

Campaign Archive

Here we archive the posts/pages on the site when we were in campaign mode from the beginning off March until April 3rd, Election Day:

Help elect Amilcar Shabazz to the Amherst School Committee

An engaged public school parent, long-time educator and administrator, acclaimed author and policy expert, Amilcar Shabazz will work to ensure that our schools “extend to all children the opportunity to reach their full potential” through the best education possible. Amherst Town Elections will take place April 3, 2012, w/polls open from 7a.m. to 8p.m. Contact us at 413-461-5638 or shabazz4schoolcmte@gmail.com 

It’s Action Time


Precincts:  Amherst is divided into 10 precincts with 8 polling locations

1. North Congregational Church, 1193 North Pleasant Street
2. North Fire Station, 603 East Pleasant Street
3. Immanuel Lutheran Church, 867 North Pleasant Street
6. Fort River School, 70 South East Street
7. Crocker Farm School, 280 West Street
8. Munson Memorial Library, South Amherst Common, 1046 South East St.
9. Wildwood School, 71 Strong Street
4., 5., 10. Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk
You may also go to the  State Elections Division website to look up your polling location.

The polling hours for all elections and all polling places are 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Prohibited Activities
State law prohibits the display of political paraphernalia within 150 feet of the entrance to the polling location. Signs, stickers, and even lapel buttons are not permitted within this restricted zone. State regulations also prohibit political solicitation within the restricted zone.

Dear Amherst Voter,

I am asking for your vote on April 3rd, 2012, to elect me to serve a three-year term on the Amherst School Committee. This year we must fill two seats on a five-member committee that performs a most important duty for our community. Under Chapter 71, AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE EDUCATION REFORM ACT OF 1993 (Section 37): “The school committee in each city and town and each regional school district shall have the power to select and to terminate the superintendent, shall review and approve budgets for public education in the district, and shall establish educational goals and policies for the schools in the district consistent with the requirements of law and statewide goals and standards established by the board of education.”

If you entrust this duty to me, from my heart and consistent with the General Laws of the Commonwealth, it will be my paramount goal to see that Amherst schools “extend to all children” (including the limited English proficient student and the school age child with a disability) the opportunity to reach their full potential and to lead lives as participants in the political and social life of the commonwealth and as contributors to its economy.”

I am the father of three sons, with one who is currently a first-grader at Crocker Farm Elementary. After attending Amherst Regional High School for four years, my middle son graduated there this past June. I and my partner, Demetria, have been involved in the schools as parents since our arrival in 2007. We see many excellent things going on in our schools, but we also know there are many challenges our schools face. I want to be a part of making our schools not simply better, but a model of a successful high-performing school district in the commonwealth and nationally. I see no reason why that vision cannot be achieved.

I am a professor and a department chair at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, but I was not always “Dr.” Shabazz. I was raised by my grandmother who was herself unable to go beyond the fifth grade, but who valued deeply the achievement of a good education. She implanted these values in me as she did in her daughter (my mother) who became a school teacher for over three decades and her son who became a research scientist who worked as a microbiologist for as many years. I attended separate and unequal public schools in the 1960s and 1970s, just as my mother and my uncle had, and my grandmother before them. These life experiences enable me to relate not only to the needs and aspirations for our schools of parents and voters who are college graduates, but also the many parents and voters in Amherst who do not have college degrees or work as professors at our University or Colleges.

It is my deeply help conviction that schools work best when we’re all on task with our shoulder to the wheel. Our school committee needs to be more representative of the entire Amherst community and strive to set goals and make policies that makes an excellent education possible for all our students.


Class sizes — Researchers have found that gains in achievement generally occur when class size is reduced to less than 20 students. I will work to make 19:1 our target student-teacher ration in our K-6 classrooms. We are close to this target at our three elementary schools except for Crocker Farm where the average classroom size is about 21 and Fort River where the average is close to 20. We should set our maximum class size at 22-24 rather than the current level of 23-27.

Later Start Times — “Schools districts that have made such a change – based on sleep researchers’ findings about teenagers’ sleep patterns – have found measurable positive outcomes in students’ academic performance, attendance, mental health, and overall health” (from the Amherst Regional Public Schools Report of the Later Start Times Task Force, April 15, 2011, p. 2). I will support a change that offers benefits for our secondary students but not at the expense of elementary school families. Good work has been done on this issue and I am open to finding a resolution that works for all parties. See Amherst Regional Public Schools Report of the Later Start Times …  http://www.arps.org/files/LaterStartReport.pdf



Help Better Our Schools
Join Us in Supporting Shabazz

Heather Anderson
Kathleen Anderson
Michael Ash
Katherine Atkinson
Trevor Baptiste
Andrea Battle
Whitney B. Baptiste
John Bonifaz
Judy Brooks
Barry Brooks
Bart Bouricious
Lucy Brewer
Steven Brewer
Barbara Burkart
Michael Burkart
Sarah Buteux
Edward Cage
Felicity and James Callahan
Elizabeth Capifali
Karen Cardozo
Angelica Castro
Pat Church
Sylvia Cuomo
Jaime J. Dávila
Paulo DiStefano
Vira Douangmany
Gerald Friedman
Tom Gardner
Frank Gatti
Judith Glaser
Ruth Bass Green
Dorothy and Bob Green
Krista Harper
Xiomara M. Hernandez
Willie Hill
Patricia Holland
Ruth F. Hooke
Anna and Timothy Hope
Michael Hussin
Mary Jane Laus
Louise Lavine
Constance Lentz
Karen Levine
Barry Levy
Barbara Lewis
Malis Loeung
Alicia Lopez
Leo Maley
Eleanor Manire-Gatti
Gilbert McCauley
Jeanette Miller
Anne Mochon
Victoria and Vladimir Morales
Lucy Mule
Vincent O’Connor
Jim Oldham
Pat and Charles Ononibaku
Isolda Ortega-Bustamante
Wilma and Alberto Ortiz
Melissa and James Perot
Thomas F. Plaut
Christa Pylant
Patricia Romney
Andra Rose
Talib Sadiq
Lori Saleem
Michael Silverstone
Lawrence W. Smith
Jacquelyn Smith-Crooks
Orlando Sola Gomez
James Steinberg
Judy Stern
Alice Swift
Mary and Dana Snyder
Carlie and Gary Tartokov
Kenton Tharp
Sarah Thomson
Russ Vernon-Jones
Gerry Weiss
Laura Wenk
Mary L. Wentworth
Nina Weyl
Barbara Whitehead
Ralph Whitehead, Jr.
Paul Wiley
Robert F. Winne
Reynolds Winslow
Jackie Wolf

Elect Shabazz –Tuesday, April 3rd – Polls open 7am to 8pm


April 3, 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM @ Voters go to their precinct polling place to vote


Ronald Ferguson, Achievement Gap Expert, to Visit Amherst Schools

March 28, 2012. Based at Harvard University since 1983, Dr. Ronald Ferguson is a nationally renowned expert on the racial achievement gap. In addition to working with district teachers, administrators and students throughout the day, Dr. Ferguson will be the featured speaker at a public forum from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Amherst Regional High School Auditorium at 21 Mattoon Street, Amherst. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

LWVAmherst Candidate’s Night  — See online at http://amherstmedia.org/node/22995

Tuesday, March 27th, 7:00-9:00pm, Middle School Auditorium

7-7:30 Meet and Greet / 7:30 – 9 Candidates Forum
Contested seats: School Comm: 3 yr term, 2 positions: Lawrence O’Brien, Irvin Rhodes, Amilcar Shabazz, Michael Aronson

Election forum at CROCKER FARM

Come meet the people who are running for School Committee elections
When? March 19th at 7:00pm
Where? The library of Crocker Farm Elementary

March 20, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Library, Amherst Regional High School

RECEIVED: 3/16/12 at 9:58 am. MEETING TIME: 7:00 pm. LOCATION: Amherst Regional High School Library. LIST OF TOPICS: FY12 Second Quarter Budget Report; Wildwood and Fort River Facilities; Per Pupil Cost Study; Policies AC, ACB, BDFA and BDFB.


Comments on: "Campaign Archive" (9)

  1. Judy Brooks said:

    Good luck!! We are cheering for you and also spreading the word. Judy Brooks

  2. Andrea Battle said:

    I will do all in my power to help Amilcar Shabazz get on the Amherst Regional School committee! You are a forward thinking and wise man who believes in All children!

  3. J. Smith-Crooks said:

    I accept the invitation. Please keep me posted about specific ways in which I can help him get elected.

    Jacquelyn Smith-Crooks

  4. J. Smith-Crooks said:

    I very much agree that we must work to insure Dr. Shabazz becomes a member of the School Committee. Please let me know how I can help.

  5. Demetria Shabazz said:

    Yard signs will be in by Friday. If anyone would like to help get the word out for Amilcar and wants flyers, yard signs, or would like to make a donation please let us know. Email Michael Burkart, Treasurer maburk47@comcast.net

  6. Judy Brooks said:

    Please give me 2 signs. Judy Brooks

  7. Judy Brooks said:

    Hope all is well and exciting. Give me a call. Iam back. Judy Brooks

  8. Demetria Shabazz said:

    Great! Will do and thanks for the note of endorsement.

  9. Eric Magazu said:

    I’m excited about prospect of Amilcar Shabazz on the School Committee. This will add a great contribution to Amherst. Eric Magazu (Town Meeting Precinct 3)

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