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Sheela Clary

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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.

Articles by Sheela Clary

REVIEW: How do you define success?

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.

The third Sunday in September

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.

Our Golden Doors

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.

The Lolita Express vs. Team USA Express

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?

Just the suggestion of justice is making my week

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.

ISO: Adventurous investors for a community icon

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.

A matter of philanthropy – or vanity

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.

Opening the Weedgates, Part VII: Youth at risk

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.

Merit. Schmerit. College. Schmollege.

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.

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

Opening the Weedgates, Part VI: Calling BS on social equity

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.

Coping with teen substance abuse: A training session for parents

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.

Profile of a first-generation college-bound student: Stone Murphy

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

Who we are: Profile of a Berkshire non-voter

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.

Addiction in the Berkshires: Four-part ‘Sara’s story’ hits home

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."