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One-room Derry schoolhouse to host pie auction

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By Stacey Federoff
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, 9:05 p.m.

With leaves falling from trees and the smell of freshly baked pies wafting through the Atlantic #40 One-Room Schoolhouse, Charla Huber said the annual pie auction feels like being transported back to 1909 when the building in Derry was first used.

“I think it's this rich, charming event ... to be in that room during this time of the year,” Huber said.

For the fifth year, the auction on Oct. 21 featuring sweet treats and old-fashioned games will benefit the school on the campus of the Derry Area School District off Route 982 just outside Derry borough.

Huber, a Derry Area Middle School teacher, sponsors the student council, which is volunteering about a dozen students to help organize the event.

Activities for children will begin at 1 p.m. The auction of about 30 pies baked by students and community volunteers will start at 2 p.m.

In the spirit of the event, Huber said, the students are enthusiastic about any work that unites the schools and the community.

“They are hungry. I always say the kids are hungry for service-learning projects,” she said.

Derry Area High School faculty members Tony Perla, Jeff Kelly and Dave McCleary will serve as auctioneers.

Susannah Calvo, spokeswoman for the district, said the teachers have experience from each spring's high school bachelor auction.

“They'll be very good and a lot of fun,” Calvo said.

Auction attendees will get the opportunity to see a new cobblestone finish added to the one-room school's sidewalk in honor of the late Robert Critchfield, a former Derry Area schools superintendent, given by his wife, Audrey, and daughter Helen.

Last year, the most sought-after pie was auctioned to a lucky winner for $35, Calvo said.

Wednesday is the first all-day field trip event of the school year at the historic building for Derry Area second-, third-, fifth- and eighth-graders.

Students from other grades will visit the Atlantic #40 school on seven other dates through May, learning various lessons to re-create the experience of attending a one-room school.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or

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