Sheela was born and raised in South Berkshire county, and is a long time language teacher and grant writer for youth-serving nonprofits. As a writer, with an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, she’s interested in education, issues of inequality, and literature. She is a Moth Story Slam winner and Grand Slam participant, and runs, with Joey Chernila, story nights at Fuel Bistro in Great Barrington. She lives in West Stockbridge with her husband and three children.
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Articles by Sheela Clary
Saturday, 16 Nov 2019 - But despite the one-in-a-million, up-from-the-bottom stories we all know and love, equal opportunity was never real. We’re not united by this new system any more than we were under aristocratic rule.
Thursday, 31 Oct 2019 - Christmas shopping season is cancelled, except for 3 to 5 p.m. on December 16th, my grandmother’s half-birthday.
Monday, 7 Oct 2019 - For the most part high-achieving, low-income students do not apply to highly selective colleges. Many under-reachers live outside of cities, are white, and attend smaller high schools. I have seen this phenomenon play out at Great Barrington’s Monument Mountain High School. Honors track low income students are more likely to apply to schools less selective than their grades and scores would recommend.
Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019 - Perhaps it’s the ugly times we’re living through, here and everywhere, that makes me love the Josh, and having 373 reasons to cheer.
Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 - Jonathan and Fatima’s success story today — car parked outside and apartment whose rent they pay on time and which comfortably houses a growing family — was made possible by the very hard work, and very long hours, of many people, coordinating their assistance among many local social service organizations.
Wednesday, 17 Jul 2019 - Which is it, America? You’re making me dizzy! Where do you stand when it comes to your female half? Are we queens of the world or the shit under your shoes?
Tuesday, 9 Jul 2019 - We are a nation of laws, and this week, unlike in far too many recent weeks, it feels like the law is winning. It feels this week, if just for this week, like our law exists to protect the vulnerable, not to facilitate the cruelty of entitled men.
Saturday, 29 Jun 2019 - The Edge recently sat down with Hinds in his Pittsfield office to discuss his proudest accomplishments, how to align workforce development needs with the education system, and his hopes and concerns about the rollout of recreational marijuana in the state, among other things.
“It’s not just opinions flying around the room”: The Berkshire Conversation Project considers gun violence
Saturday, 25 May 2019 - One local group of about a dozen people has started a conversation about guns by learning how not to interrupt each other.
Saturday, 18 May 2019 - Among the special concerns of the youth coalition members is a perceived deprioritization of health in our schools.
Saturday, 11 May 2019 - This play made me wish our education system still fostered the art of rigorous, respectful debate.
Thursday, 2 May 2019 - There is a rumor that the Cove Bowling Lanes is the inspiration for the bowling alley that was a central setting in the Coen Brothers’ 1998 cult classic film “The Big Lebowski” starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi.
Saturday, 20 Apr 2019 - Kids’ welfare ought to be our first, second, third and fourth philanthropic priorities and when the kids are all set with food, shelter, loving adults and good schools, then we may turn our attention to the adults, and then to the animals.
Friday, 12 Apr 2019 - The morning served as a kick-off to the district’s initiatives to deepen connections between the district and the community, and help even the school’s youngest students start to envision a future for themselves in the work world.
Tuesday, 2 Apr 2019 - Four years ago, 70 percent of South Berkshire 12th-graders reported having used marijuana at least once, and 41 percent reported use within the past month. In 2019, those numbers are 52 percent and 36 percent respectively.
Saturday, 16 Mar 2019 - The worst part of the cheating scandal was not that the parents paid to cheat, but that they took pains to ensure their children didn’t know they’d won the golden ticket through devious means.
Interview with Chris Tucci of Railroad Street Youth Project, panelist at ‘Weed Is Here, Now What?’ forum
Monday, 11 Mar 2019 - "Recreational cannabis means that we are talking about cannabis. That’s a good thing. Young people are asking unsolicited questions, neighbors are talking to each other. ... We developed norms ... We’re starting to talk about what does safe use look like for adults? What is the norm?" --Chris Tucci, Railroad Street Youth Project deputy director
Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington speaks out on criminal justice reform, marijuana legalization
Thursday, 7 Mar 2019 - "As a parent, and someone who’s worked with young people who are at risk, I’m very concerned with how we protect young people from marijuana. We know that marijuana is devastating for developing brains. If your kids get drunk before school, you’re going to notice. But if they’re smoking marijuana, it’s a lot harder to tell." --Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington
Wednesday, 27 Feb 2019 - Vibe: Tribal ceremony, whereby tribesmen dance around their leader in absentia, throwing protective stardust on his aura.
Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 - In the push for medical cannabis approval in 2012 in Massachusetts, and then to the passage of recreational in 2016, the ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance and others stressed the racial and class disparities of the war on drugs. It is a fair guess that many of the more than 60 percent of Berkshire County voters who checked “yes” on the 2016 ballot question did so at least in part to help right these wrongs.
Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 - Any new initiatives will build on the school’s strong pre-existing relationships with businesses and nonprofits, fostered in part through its longstanding internship program, which sends dozens of students into the community each year for a portion of the school day.
Saturday, 2 Feb 2019 - The techniques and approaches Foote advocates are not specific to any particular substance or circumstance; rather, they address the fact that communication gets much more fraught, and the stakes get much higher, when kids enter their teen years.
Thursday, 24 Jan 2019 - "People knew going into it that there was a lot of potential money at stake, and the kids who were contending for the scholarship, that money meant a lot to them, because they didn’t have a trust fund or something. So it was a little bit nerve-wracking." --Stone Murphy
Monday, 21 Jan 2019 - The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission explicitly has forbidden retail marijuana stores from describing what they sell. You can’t understand what’s in front of you if the laws make it play hide and seek.
Sunday, 13 Jan 2019 - Human beings are inclined to assume that our own lived experience reflects that of everyone else’s. We—the people who write and think about pot and have enough money to open stores that sell it—are blind to the “other” in our midst.
Friday, 4 Jan 2019 - Though Great Barrington might soon be hosting four or five cannabis retail stores, you are likely to have a hard time figuring out what they sell.
Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018 - Moratoriums on retail and cultivation facilities can extend, with the state attorney general’s blessing, into 2019. Townspeople must eventually determine such things as the number of businesses they will allow, what the maximum size may be, and where in town they can be located.
Tuesday, 11 Dec 2018 - If all applicants and interested parties are eventually approved, there could be as many as five cannabis outlets in and around Great Barrington.
Saturday, 17 Nov 2018 - I am a white male. Things aren’t gonna change for me. I’m worried about everyone else … I’m not going to vote in November, because I’m not educated enough. I don’t pay attention that well. I don’t think my vote would be too valid.
Monday, 29 Oct 2018 - I was recently invited to be the guest speaker for two journalism classes at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington. The students, about 35 all together, had prepared questions for me based on their reading the day before of my recent four-part series, "Addiction in the Berkshires: Sara’s story."
Sunday, 28 Oct 2018 - Over the five days, teachers and students work in teams to solve real-world problems in a classroom where hands-on experimentation, critical thinking, and collaboration.
Health Coalition and RSYP unveil ‘Talking with Teens,’ new video series for parents about alcohol, drug abuse
Wednesday, 17 Oct 2018 - The videos stress the importance of nonjudgmental communication, and the scientific facts regarding human development and drug and alcohol use.