Conversation Circle Leaders


Christine Jutres

Christine Jutres


Mondays, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

After growing up in the Boston area, I came to Amherst as an undergraduate and made this Valley my home. That was many, many years ago! I’ve been an early childhood educator all of my professional life, mostly as a principal of a local elementary school and a trainer of teachers (now retired from both). I love to travel and interact with people and their cultures. I’ve been excited to become a volunteer with the Jones Library ESL program as a way to meet people from other places right here in the Amherst area! I enjoy helping others to understand the English language and American culture and as a result have had so many wonderful conversations and learned so much from them along the way. I live in Sunderland where I like to garden, take walks and bike rides, go to the movies, and kayak. You can find me in the Alto section of the Rock Voices chorus.
Ellen Silverberg

Ellen Silverberg


Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

My professional background is as a speech/language therapist (retired), ESL teacher, and fine art and nature photographer. I moved to Amherst in 2012, and began volunteering as a tutor through the library's program. I now am excited to lead a Conversation Circle at the library where we meet for lively interactions and engaging discussions!

I have always been fascinated by foreign languages and intercultural interactions. Having lived and travelled overseas, I understand first-hand how difficult it can be at times, and I enjoy helping both immigrants and foreign visitors improve their communication skills, learn about the American way of life, and enjoy what this area has to offer.

My other interests include working with Round the World Women, leading nature walks, Emily Dickinson's poetry, and playing ukulele.
Susan Crim

Susan Crim


Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

I am a relative newcomer to Amherst after moving from the Washington, DC, area. One of the best things I did after arriving was to sign up with the ESL program. I have a conversation partner and I lead a Conversation Circle. For many years, I enjoyed having international students live in my home under an English-instruction program in the Washington, DC, area. Sharing American culture with the students and learning about other cultures is deeply rewarding. My professional background is in higher education as an administrator and a business and education professor. My hobbies include hiking, cooking, and knitting.
Marcie Sclove

Marcie Sclove


Fridays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

As a resident of Amherst for 27 plus years, I have participated in many different communities here in town. For example, I owned my own restaurant, which provided a rich community right in the heart of downtown, and have been a member of the Amherst Survival Center community since 1998, as staff, volunteer, and board member. Getting to know some of the newcomers to Amherst from other countries is very exciting for me. I too, have lived in a far away place (India) for 1 year with my family. The kindness people showed me, and the patience with which they helped me learn their language was wonderful. I also led English conversation circles there, where we talked about the most interesting topics! I am happy to be part of this rich community of people from all over the world. As we sit together, speaking English, my eyes and heart are open to the richness of other cultures.