Latest News

Former Clarke Employee Wins ASHA Editor's Award

November 14, 2017—The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) honored former Clarke employee Frank Iglehart with the Editor's Award for the American Journal of Audiology.[More]

Honoring Trustees for their Service and Welcoming a New Addition to the Board

November 13, 2017—Clarke is honored to recognize Kevin Franck, PhD, Sara Grosvenor and Sharon McCarthy as they close out their terms with Clarke's Board of Trustees this fall. Kevin, the brother of a Clarke Alumna, joined the Board in 2011; Sara, Founder and President of The Alexander...[More]

Clarke Staff and Alumni Collaborate on Educational eBook

November 5, 2017—Thanks to the contributions from Clarke staff, Smith/Clarke alumni and Clarke Board Members, we are pleased to announce that the eBook Preparing to Teach, Committing to Learn: An Introduction to Educating Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, is now available...[More]

The 38th Annual Conference on Mainstreaming Students with Hearing Loss Draws Hundreds of Professionals, Parents and Teens

November 1, 2017—Clarke Mainstream Services’ 38th Annual Conference on Mainstreaming Students with Hearing Loss was a great success, drawing hundreds of attendees, sponsors and exhibitors from across the country. This year’s event was especially significant, as Clarke Schools for...[More]

 
August 8, 2011

Clarke Student Max Schmidt Makes Art for Tornado Relief


August 8, 2011—Max Schmidt, a student in Clarke’s K-8 program, is the artist behind the large origami flowers that adorn many of the offices and classrooms at Clarke’s Northampton campus. Max got interested in origami after receiving an origami calendar and researching other crafts. “He was determined to learn how to make them and found a tutorial on YouTube. He just kept at it until he had it perfect!” says Joanne Schmidt, Max’s mom.

This June, tornadoes hit the nearby city of Springfield, MA, causing heavy damage and leaving many homeless. Working with classroom teacher Lou Barden, Max decided to raise funds for disaster relief by selling his signature origami art to teachers and staff. “Max showed incredible caring and initiative in taking on this project. I’m so proud of him!” says Barden.

The proceeds from Max’s benefit sale totaled $100, and was donated to the Red Cross Tornado Relief Fund.

Although Max was born with typical hearing, a case of meningitis when he was an infant left him with a profound hearing loss. Max’s family is from Chicago, and although it was a difficult decision to send him so far from home to Clarke’s residential program, Max’s mother knew it was the right decision. “Clarke is an amazing school and he’s come so far in just this past year.”

In addition to philanthropy, Max’s hobbies include Drama Club (he played the parts of Dr. Dillamond and Munchkin in The Wicked Wizard of Oz), creative writing, science of all kinds, and frequent trips to Friendly’s for ice cream with staff mentor Martha deHahn, Clarke’s Director of Program Information. “Max has really gained confidence over the past year,” says deHahn. “He came up with a great idea and he wasn’t afraid to approach the teachers and staff to make it a success.”

“I really look up to him,” says Joanne. “He’s overcome the challenges he’s faced, believes in himself, and really cares about others.”