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MCLA Students Identify Qualities in College Presidential Candidates
By Nicholas Swanson, iBerkshires Intern
03:24PM / Wednesday, December 09, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Five candidates for president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, selected by the search committee, visited the college last month. Last week, the board of trustees named two, Jaimie Birge and Alan Ray, as the finalists.

Student leaders voiced their thoughts about which qualities the five candidates portrayed that were most imperative for further success at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. All five visited the college campus last month for a two-day visit consisting of multiple Q&A sessions and a final interview with the trustees.

"I think the biggest thing is the ability to compare each candidate. Unfortunately not all students were able

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MCLA Offers New Option for Transfer Students From New York State
01:14PM / Monday, December 07, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has a new opportunity for New York state residents who wish to transfer to the campus.

The New York Transfer Program provides guaranteed admission, as well as a reduced cost of attendance for students looking to enroll at MCLA.  

“We’re excited to streamline the transfer process for New York students,” said Gina Puc, director of admission at MCLA. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for those with an associate’s degree to seamlessly transfer to MCLA and enjoy our New York Tuition Reduction Program rate while they earn their bachelor’s degree. It’s a great

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North Adams School Committee Says Goodbye to 3 Members
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:19AM / Monday, December 07, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city bid farewell to three School Committee members last week who had a combined quarter-century of service.

Mary Lou Acetta, Lawrence Taft and David Lamarre were treated to a small party and tokens of appreciation at what was likely their last meeting.

Mayor Richard Alcombright, chairman of the committee, praised their dedication as "strong leaders and strong professionals" during their tenures.

Accetta, the committee secretary, had been on the committee the longest, being elected in 2003. Taft joined the committee in 2005 and Lamarre in 2011.

Taft said he had been talked into running a decade ago by fellow committee member Mark Moulton, seeing

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MCLA Narrows Presidential Search Field to Two Candidates
11:07AM / Friday, December 04, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts's Board of Trustees decided this week to narrow its field of presidential candidates to two applicants.

A vote was passed unanimously to focus MCLA’s consideration on two finalists: Dr. Jaimie Birge and Dr. Alan Ray. All trustees were invited to this meeting, and nine out of 10 trustees were in attendance.

Birge, who is currently serving as interim president at Marygrove College in Detroit, has worked in higher education for more than 30 years. He served as the fourth president of Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., from 2009 to 2015. Previously, he served as the executive vice president and interim

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Clarksburg Eyes RFP for School Project; Officials Leery of Consolidation Talk
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:46AM / Friday, December 04, 2015
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The next step for Clarksburg School is to develop a request for proposals for an architect and project manager now that it has been officially invited into the MSBA feasibility study phase.

The board of directors of the Massachusetts School Building Authority on Nov. 18 voted to accept Clarksburg. A special town meeting in October voted 113-2 to spend up to $250,000 to study a renovation of the existing 50-year-old building or the construction of a new building.

"Now what's holding us back from moving on to the piece will be to put out an RFP for a project manger and architect that will be our next step," said Superintendent Jonathan Lev. "We

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McCann Student Receives Superintendent Award
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:30AM / Friday, December 04, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School senior Amanda Vallone has received the Massachusetts Association of Superintendents Outstanding Student Award.

The School Committee applauded Vallone, of Clarksburg, on Thursday for her achievements at McCann and on being the recipient of the award, presented by the association to one student from each high school in Massachusetts.

"We congratulate you, and we know it is the family and the values you have but it is you every day being diligent, working hard, and taking that challenge," Superintendent James Brosnan said. "You make us proud, you make McCann proud, there is no doubt you make your family proud, and you make

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Culinary Experts in Training Plan to Succeed Through Cookery
By Nicholas Swanson, iBerkshires Intern
04:35PM / Wednesday, December 02, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Tea Room cafe and bakeshop at Charles H. McCann Technical School serves as a reminder that gourmet chefs and restaurateurs can advance at a young age.

"Students are fully trained in dinning room service, à la carte food preparation [and] quantity food preparation," said Patrick Cariddi, coordinator, during a visit to the program in late October.

Students enrolled in the school's Culinary Arts Program learn hands-on skills used to work in all levels of food service industries. Within the program there are multiple group and individual projects structured to ladder difficulty levels from freshmen to senior year.

"My favorite part

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MCLA Recognizes Adams Scholarship Awardees
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Wednesday, December 02, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The interim president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts self-deprecatingly says he doesn't know a lot about how to run a college.   But James Clemmer does know how to sell the idea of a liberal arts education.   "Looking back, I didn't even realize the opportunity I was given, which was to get a business degree but also learn in a really great liberal arts environment," said Clemmer, a 1986 graduate of the then North Adams State College. "That allowed me to learn not just business, not just how to read a [profit and loss statement] or a balance sheet but really how to learn to interact with others.   "The beauty of

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'Guys and Dolls' Comes to the Drury High Stage
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:40PM / Tuesday, December 01, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Drury Arts Department will bring "Guys and Dolls" to the stage this week.

Director Kate Caton said more than 100 students are involved in the musical, and it will encompass the whole department.

"You have to find the perfect cast and we got together with the students in June after the 'Music Man' and we did a pre-audition and there was a huge interest from everyone," Caton said. "When I was a kid in 7th grade I saw "Guys and Dolls" at my high school and I loved it. I thought it would be the perfect high school musical."

The musical, written by Frank Loesser in 1950, takes place in New York City in the 1920s and

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Caring For Others Mission of McCann Nursing Graduates
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:10AM / Tuesday, December 01, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The graduating class of the McCann Technical School licensed practical nursing program was reminded on Monday of its most basic reason for being.

"It is simply to take care of people, those important human beings entrusted to our care. Never, ever forget," said keynote speaker Elizabeth A. Kirby, director of education Berkshire Health Systems and a registered nurse. "We exist to help our fellow man ... when we lose sight of that, we become disillusioned."

That can lead to disliking the work and burning out, she said.

"This is when our patients begin to suffer because of us ... ours is a very hard, demanding profession," Kirby told

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