2009 luncheons‎ > ‎

December 1, 2009


Tuesday, December 1, 2009 

President Larry Siddall opened the meeting in a light-hearted manner with quotes from British school children in response to religious exam questions, such as “Noah’s wife was Joan of Ark”, and “Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire by night”. 

Eric Magazu, a graduate student at UMass, was the guest of Hwei-Ling Greeney. 


  • Phyllis Lehrer announced a free concert at the Renaissance Center on Sunday, December 6 at 2 p.m. of Early Vocal Music performed by the local group, Honest Harmony.
  • Michael Greenebaum is looking for more volunteers to be notetakers at club meetings starting in January 2010.
  • Michael Greenebuam also announced that the committee on the future of the Amherst Club will issue the first of two reports at the meeting on December 29th.  All Amherst Club members are strongly encouraged to attend and comment on the details of the report.
  • Sara Berger annouced that she is retiring from her position at “Mysterious Women”.
  • Ruth Hooke announced that there is an excellent concert tonight, Tuesday, December 1st at Bowker Auditorium at UMass at 8 p.m.
  • Phyllis Lehrer announced that the Annual Celebration of the Lighting of the Merry Maple will take place on the Common on Friday, December 4th beginning at 4:30 p.m, which will include the UMass Marching Band.

Jean Miller introduced today’s speaker, Ruth Wade, who was a principal in the Farmington CT schools and is now an educational consultant, and she is also on the board of the Amherst Survival Center. 

The title of Ruth Wade’s PowerPoint presentation was “The (Only) Three Ways to Improve Student Performance in Schools”.  These ways are: 

  • Increase the knowledge and skills of the teachers
  • Provide a challenging and engaging curriculum
  • Alter the relationship of studentss to teachers

All of these factors can be controlled by the school system.  Ms. Wade showed various research data collected over serveral years from work that had taken place in the Farmington schools.  This showed that great teachers get positive result with students.  Also, she stated that testing, such as the MCATS, in and of themselves does not improve performance.  She advocates “Internal Accountability followed by Appropriate Intervention”.  She showed that in curriculum design, “Task Predicts Performance” by illustrations of student performance in AP courses in the Farmington schools.  She concluded by discussing positive steps of curriculum design. 

The winner of the wine was Hwei-Ling Greeney 

The winner of the cash was Shirlwy Huddleston 

Respectfully submitted by your scribe for this week, Jim Scott.