were taking on new assignments in
which they would no longer need the
After a preliminary opening
for new teachers, Tools 4 Teaching
attracted a diverse array of educators
for its grand opening.
Jean-Claude Gerlus, who teaches
French and Spanish at Central High
School, loaded up on some basic
supplies and scanned shelves of books.
Ashley Abel, who teaches fourth-graders at the Liberty Elementary
School, was selecting reading
materials appropriate for her students.
PreK teachers found a trove of games
and toys for their young charges.
The giveaway center, in space
donated by the city, sits within a
fenced area inside the Richard E. Neal
Municipal Operations Center at 70
Tapley St. Consider it Springfield’s
little-box alternative to those big-box
stores that teachers often have to run to
when they need to replenish supplies.
A group called Springfield School
Volunteers is facilitating business and
corporate donations to Tools 4 Teaching
so the donors can take advantage of that
group’s 501(c)( 3) nonprofit status at tax
time. The Springfield Teachers Credit
Union and Mass Mutual Financial
Group have already sent in items,
some surplus and some left over from
conferences and seminars, according to
Denise Cogman of Springfield School
Volunteers. Teachers can also procure
classroom furniture stored at the Neal
Members of the SEA Committee
of Retired Teachers staff the location on
the second Thursday afternoon of each
month to collect materials, and on the
third Thursday afternoon of each month
so it can be open for “shoppers.” As
long as the shoppers have Springfield
school employee IDs, the Tools 4
Teaching merchandise is free.
Williams encourages other
districts to start resource recycling
programs of their own. She suggests
tapping into city resources, as the
Springfield Education Association
did to find space in the Neal building;
forming a dedicated committee that
meets at least once per month to make
sure the program stays on track; and
“Be prepared to make many
follow-up phone calls,” she said.
Committee members involved in
the project include Williams, Ronnie
Tillman, Patricia Sullivan, Mary
Scherpa, Nancy Meyer, Gail Healey,
Jean Haley and Sue Fielding.
Questions about donations can
be sent to Chris Williams via e-mail at
The right supplies at the perfect price
Members of the SEA Committee of Retired Teachers at the opening.
Photo by Scott McLennan
Photo by Scott McLennan Continued from Page 8
served the union in various capacities
throughout his career.
“I felt I had more of an impact
as a grad student than I did as a
professor,” Lyons said, reflecting on
why he became active in his union
and stayed active throughout a career
that spanned 36 years. “I wanted to
have a say in who was hired, who was
promoted, who supervised me.”
Roberts expressed genuine
surprise when Liston interrupted lunch
with what seemed an impromptu
speech. It began with a recitation of
historic events from 1937, including
Amelia Earhart’s disappearance and
the Hindenburg dirigible disaster.
“Perhaps more importantly on
this date in 1937, there were two
more things of note. On September
24, 1937, the Sox lost to the dreaded
Yankees, 5 to 1, and Kay Roberts was
teaching,” Liston said. His comment
was followed by the presentation of
a plaque honoring Roberts’ many
contributions through the years —
to students, to the MTA, to public
education and to her community.
Liston also read Roberts — who
had recently turned 99 — a birthday
greeting sent from Senator Warren.
MTA Vice President Sullivan then led
The light moments were balanced
with the serious business of legal and
financial-issue seminars specifically
geared toward retirees. The Retired
Members Committee also collected
school supplies to be donated to
the Emma L. Miller Memorial
Elementary School in the rural Western
Massachusetts community of Savoy.
Dr. Richard Lyons received the
Honor Our Own award.
• Reading and Literacy • Elementary Education
• Early Childhood • Secondary Education • Special Needs
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• Licensure and Non-Licensure Options
For more information, contact Associate Director Ryan Lovell
978.998.7761 | firstname.lastname@example.org
leading to licensure for:
Special Education Administrator
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