Retired teacher brings learning into the community via NewTV

Jay Sugerman of ‘Museum Open House,’ interviewed Boston College professors Elizabeth Goizueta (center) and Nancy Netzer  for a  broadcast.
Jay Sugerman of ‘Museum Open House,’ interviewed Boston College professors Elizabeth Goizueta (center) and Nancy Netzer for a broadcast.

Jay Sugarman of Newton has been retired from teaching since June 2013, but his commitment to education remains as strong as ever.

At NewTV, the city’s local-access cable television system, Sugarman is the host and producer of two half-hour shows.

“Museum Open House,” which is shown Thursdays at 9:30 p.m., features current and upcoming museum exhibitions, historic homes and sites, historical and cultural organizations, and related resources statewide.


The episodes have highlighted the Concord Museum, Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Gore Place in Waltham, and the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History in Weston. Sugarman has also profiled people related to historic institutions, such as Denise Price, author of “Freedom Trail Pop Up Book of Boston.”

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With cablecasts on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., “Innovation Showcase” informs viewers of groundbreaking efforts by Massachusetts companies and individuals in business, science, technology, education, and the arts. Recent shows have featured Newton-based Desalitech’s high-efficiency water purification system, and Andrew Bennett, who teaches robotics and systems design as an associate professor at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham.

Sugarman, who taught fourth grade in Brookline during his 34 years in education, said the shows are an extension of his career-long efforts to “make connections between school and the real world by talking about current events, going on field trips to enhance the curriculum, and inviting experts into the classroom.”

In the late 1980s, he hosted a cable-access show in Brookline about local educators and related topics. It was a natural transition, he said, to the educational programs offered through museums and other local organizations.

Sugarman typically finds his subjects through local newspapers, online research, and word of mouth. He began taping “Museum Open House” in February 2014, and introduced “Innovation Showcase” in April.


However, Sugarman emphasizes that neither endeavor would be possible without the assistance of the NewTV staff and his fellow volunteers, who help direct the shows from the control room and provide audio and camera work.

“There is no shortage of fascinating places and guests,” he said. “I’m having a lot of fun exploring what’s out there and sharing it with the community.”

For more information and to view previous episodes, visit www.newtv.org.

Cindy Cantrell may be reached at cindycantrell20@gmail.com.