New Diagnosis? Clarke Can Help!

The Clarke Connection | Northampton | 02

the Clarke Connectionthe Clarke Connection

Clarke Northampton Celebrates Retiring Educators

Seven outstanding educators from Clarke Northampton will retire at the end of this school year. Bill Corwin, Clarke's President said, "Debra Bak, Claire Blatchford, Pam Goodrow, Dennis Moulton, Michael O'Connell, Judy Sheldon and Bob Storm have made an indelible imprint in the hearts and minds of hundreds of students and the entire extended Clarke family. We will miss them, we wish them well, and we will never forget their passion for educating children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Their dedication is something we can all aspire to."

Judy Sheldon, a retiring teacher who first came to Clarke 38 years ago, taught students decades before the advent of newborn screening, cochlear implants and digital hearing aids. "In those days, Clarke was mostly a boarding school, and many of the teachers lived on campus or worked in the dorms. There was no captioning on TV, so we sat beside children and oral interpreted; students couldn't use telephones so we spoke directly to the parents. In that way, teachers became very connected to both the students and the families."

Since then, advanced hearing technologies have revolutionized the field of deaf education. "Nobody would have guessed fifteen years ago that we'd be where we are now. Almost all of the students at our school have cochlear implants; most of the older students have their own phones; and thanks to email and computers, all of our students have access to the entire world right at their fingertips. In that way," says Sheldon, "the school has changed. However, connections between the families, the children, and the teachers have not changed. That's what's so special about this community. In my mind there's nothing like it."

Retiring teacher, Bob Storm, will continue part-time in his current role of Alumni Liaison. He too marvels at the shift in technology and lifestyle for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. "Every time I have a conversation on the phone with a deaf student, I hang up and I sit there with a feeling of awe."

Storm's admiration extends beyond the realm of technology to Clarke students themselves--past and present. "One of the things that attracted me about Clarke--and I never expected to spend my entire professional 42-year career here--is the way the children treat each other like brothers and sisters. This is and always has been a warm, inviting, nurturing and joyful environment. It's a much closer knit student body than you'd find in most other schools."

"That I've had the opportunity to teach so many students as young teenagers and now--in my capacity as Alumni Liaison--work with them as colleagues, is a gift. I see how they've grown, how they've become parents, how they've become successful. In many cases, they are now teaching me--about their lives, about new technologies. It's a relationship that I treasure, and that has truly come full circle."

View a photo gallery of our Retiree Celebrations.

Read the article in the Springfield Republican.


Clarke Schools Represented in Top Marathons

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech has been named an officially recognized community charity for the November 6, 2011 ING New York City Marathon. The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world's great road races, drawing more than 100,000 applicants annually.

The race attracts world-class professional athletes, not only for the more than $600,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and 315 million worldwide television viewers. As any of the more than 700,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime.

Tracy Newman, of Maryland, has secured one of five spots allocated for Clarke runners in the ING New York City marathon. Tracy began running eight years ago and has participated in several half marathons. She recently crossed the finish line of the 2011 Baltimore Marathon.

"I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to run in the ING New York City Marathon, but my reasons for running on behalf of Clarke are so much more personal," said Tracy. "My sister, Meredith Berger, is the director of Clarke New York. She has dedicated her life to the education of children who are deaf or hard of hearing."

According to Tracy, while her training for the marathon has included months of physical and mental preparation, it is the hard work of Clarke's children, families and staff members that is the true accomplishment.

"It's the day-to-day achievements of Clarke children and staff that should be recognized and celebrated," said Tracy. "I hope to raise money and awareness for the great work being done at all five of Clarke's schools."

Tyler Brinkmann of Falmouth, MA recently ran for Team Clarke in the Boston Marathon. Tyler came in at 3:02:5— 4 minutes better than his time at last year's marathon and a personal best. To date, Tyler has raised $1,100 for Clarke. "I can run for miles, but it doesn't compare to the distance Clarke will go for their students," said Tyler.

Runners for Team Clarke will also be crossing the finish line at the Falmouth Road Race on Sunday, August 14th and the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 9th.

For more information about how to participate in these events and others, visit


A New Day

View a video slideshow celebrating Clarke kids! Trouble viewing? Click here.



Clarke's Spring Fundraising Campaign in Full Bloom

There's Still Time to Make a Difference!

Flowers are in full bloom this season and so is Clarke's "Make a Gift and Watch it Grow" fundraising campaign.

All gifts to Clarke received by June 30th will have double or TRIPLE the impact thanks to a charitable foundation that is providing an unprecedented amount of matching support to our schools.

"My thanks go back to Clarke a million times," said Ketty, a parent of a child attending Clarke New York. "Thank you for transforming my daughter's life into one filled with happiness, wonder, and self-worth!"

New gifts of $25 or more to Clarke are being tripled by the Foundation, and gifts to Clarke from friends who have donated in the past are being doubled! This means that whether you are a new supporter of Clarke, or a long time friend, your gift will have a tremendous impact on our programs and services.

Charitable contributions support 40% of Clarke's operating budget at six locations along the East Coast. Each gift to Clarke ensures that our life-changing work with children who are deaf and hard of hearing remains accessible to all families regardless of their income level.

Gifts to our schools equip classrooms with the latest acoustical treatments and FM systems that provide an optimal learning and listening environment for our young students. In addition to scholarships, donations support the purchase of computers and books, and allow Clarke children to enjoy field trips to the zoo, local museums and more.

Our donors not only support our schools – they support the independent future of our students by helping Clarke Schools lay a solid foundation of listening, speaking, and learning for the children we serve.

To make a difference and to be a part of our students' success, visit to contribute to our "Make a Gift and Watch it Grow" campaign, or call 413.582.1189.

View the enewsletter archive.