Generations of Hutch grads share memories of teachers, of community, of a place ‘like home’


Earlier in the summer, a truck drove past the former lower playground to where site preparation crews were breaking up rocks on the property of Hutchinson School.

Hutchinson School will be remembered long after the last load of rubble is trucked away in 2023.

Hutch graduates of all ages shared their memories of the school with the Pelham Examiner.

Roland Scharrer went to Hutchinson from 1941 to 1946. He said his teachers helped him become interested in science, especially Mrs. Deck. He said he remembers going home for lunch and playing in the streets with other children.

Numerous Hutchinson graduates said they miss the sense of community in the school and the feeling that came with it.

Hutch “was kind of like home,” said Lia Cosentino, a 1978 graduate. “Such a small town, everyone knew each other.”

Matt Jackson, who went to Hutchinson from 1973 to 1980, said, “I miss the close community feel of Hutch. We knew every one of our classmates and every teacher knew us.”

Hutchinson started as a small school consisting of two classrooms and fifty students in 1866. In 1889, a bigger school was erected. It was expanded to two stories, but was soon after destroyed by a fire in the winter of 1912. The school was rebuilt in 1914, with its name continuing to honor Anne Hutchinson. Over the years, the school was extended to become the current Hutchinson School. Now, the school is being replaced, and the new building is expected to be open in the fall of 2022, with the old school being torn down and the completion of the playground and field accomplished in the summer of 2023.

It’s always sad when a physical piece of a person’s history will no longer exists”

— Dibya Sarkar

Some people feel a strong connection to the school because so many generations of their families went there. Michele Bloom attended Hutchinson from 1977 to 1986 and remembers fondly hatching chicks in second grade and putting on a play in third grade. Her mother, Patricia Guerrieri, went to Hutchinson in 1953. Guerrieri said she is sad that the school will be torn down because it taught four generations of her family.

Guerrieri is not the only one saddened by the coming demolition of Hutchinson. Kelly Farewell, who attended from 1971 to 1978, was unhappy to learn that the school will be destroyed.

“While I understand the need for safety and improvements to buildings, it’s like a piece of history is being destroyed,” she said.

Dibya Sarkar, who was enrolled from 1974 to 1977, said, “It’s always sad when a physical piece of a person’s history will no longer exist and all that will be left are photographs and memories.”

The teachers were a big part of Hutchinson experience. Many teachers were remembered by interviewees, including Mrs. Deck,  Mrs. Teitelbaum, Mrs. Bohem and many more. Barbara Schaefer said she worked at the school for nine years and loved it. She had an organ in her classroom that she played. She also kept many animals such as chicks and a snake. She said she enjoyed working with the kids.

Hutchinson influenced the lives of many people. The kindness and sense of community at the school was carried on by the students and overall made the Town of Pelham a better place. It is sad that the school is being torn down, but the community will not be destroyed with the building.