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Local Schools Receive Olmsted Awards from Williams College
01:17PM / Monday, April 24, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College has announced its 2017 Bicentennial Olmsted Awards for Faculty Development to Adams-Cheshire, Berkshire Arts and Technology (BART), Lanesborough Elementary, McCann Technical, Mount Greylock Regional, North Adams and Williamstown Elementary. Each district will receive $5,000 for professional and curricular development projects.

Adams-Cheshire will continue last year's efforts to transform C. T. Plunkett Elementary School into a full-service school, using the Olmsted Award to hire two consultants who will assist with the process. Citing Eric Jenson's book "Teaching with Poverty in Mind" as a guiding influence, the school will

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MCLA Makes It Official With Inauguration of President Birge
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
08:33PM / Friday, April 21, 2017
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Birge takes the oath of his office from Susan Gold, chairman of the board of trustees. See more photos here. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — James F. "Jamie" Birge hadn't intended to become a college president.    After interviewing dozens of presidents of colleges large and small, private and public, for his dissertation in leadership studies, he came away with the impression it was too difficult, too demanding and fraught with financial pressures.   "Why would anyone want to do that job?" he joked on Friday afternoon as he gave his inaugural address as the 12th president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. "After finishing my dissertation

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United Way Program to Provide Kindergarteners With Supplies
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:24PM / Thursday, April 20, 2017
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Gary Levante is co-chairing the day of caring this year.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Every child entering kindergarten next year will have a backpack full of supplies.   Berkshire Bank employees will be filling 1,200 backpacks with books, supplies, reading lists, and informational fliers as part of the Berkshire United Way's day of caring. The literacy kits will be given out at locations throughout Berkshire County on June 21 at a series of "pop-up parties."   "Each kindergarten party will have a variety of family friend activities. There is going to be food and fun and all types of good stuff," said Berkshire United Way CEO Kristine Hazzard

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'Farm to Hand' Food Truck Wins MCLA's First Entrepreneur Challenge
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:41AM / Thursday, April 20, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The three judges had a tough decision to make on Wednesday night: which young group of entrepreneurs would walk away with $10,000 to jump-start their idea.    "I feel like J. Lo, everybody's great!" said J.D. Chesloff, channeling the singer/star from "American Idol."   Twenty-seven teams of two to five students entered the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge last fall, the first-ever competition held by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and funded by the Feigenbaum Fund and Jack and Susy Wadsworth. After months of research, planning, and guidance by mentors, four finalist teams stood to present their business

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McCann Tech Gets $15,000 From Haas Foundation for Scholarships
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:45PM / Tuesday, April 18, 2017
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A metal globe made on one of the Haas CNC machines.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Scholarships, resources, recertification programs.    Those are some of the ideas being taken up for a $15,000 grant made to McCann Technical School's machine technology program by the Gene Haas Foundation.   "The immediate impact would definitely be helping out our senior class of 2017, helping those kids move forward," instructor Thomas Matuszak said on Tuesday.    This is the second Haas grant to a local school; last week, Taconic High School's manufacturing program received $10,000 toward scholarships.    Dylan Phelps, a sales associate with

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Drury High Students Creating Sign for North Adams Dog Park
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:00AM / Tuesday, April 11, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Out-of-towners and their pets trying to sniff out the city's dog park won't have to hunt much longer.    The Planning Board on Monday approved a sign designed and being built by Drury High School students that will be located on River Street.   The park was installed last year but its location — tucked against a slope in a far corner of the park at River and Houghton — has made it difficult for some to find.    "We would get people from Lee and Pittsfield and where ever and they'd be like, 'where is this park and how do I find it?" Tara Jacobs, one of the dog park drivers, said. Plus, people

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Education Task Force Seeks Community Input, Aspirations
02:39PM / Monday, April 10, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force is seeking input as it develops recommendations for county schools.    Five "community aspiration" meetings are scheduled this month for parents, educators and community members to share expectations, aspirations, and concerns for the future of preK-12 public education in Berkshire County.   The first session is this Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center.   Despite having high-quality educators, say task force officials, the educational opportunities available to children and young people in Berkshire County are threatened by the region's

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'Dear World' Project to Visit MCLA
11:29AM / Monday, April 10, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will participate in the "Dear World" portrait and story-telling project on Thursday, April 13, as members of the campus community are asked, "If you had one story to share with the world, what would you say?"

"Dear World" is an interactive project that explores the subtle and powerful connections between students, faculty and staff at college campuses around the world. To date, the organization has taken more than 50,000 portraits.

This free event, which primarily is intended for MCLA students, faculty and staff, also is open to the public. In addition to having their portrait taken,

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Clarksburg School Clips Summer Break to Extend Construction Season
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Monday, April 10, 2017
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Summer vacation will be shorter for Clarksburg students this year.    School gets out on June 23 to make up seven snow days (to date) after a rough winter. And they'll be heading back into the classroom on Aug. 28, the Monday before Labor Day.    The early return is designed to accommodate a possible school building project next year, should a successful vote take place in the fall.    Typically, school begins after the Monday Labor Day holiday according to the teachers' contract, said Principal Tara Barnes.   "The teachers very graciously decided reconsider the start," she said at Thursday's School Committee

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Ten McCann Machine Tech Students Receive Level 2 Certification
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:24PM / Saturday, April 08, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Ten McCann Technical School students were recognized on Thursday for achieving Level 2 certification, the highest available, in their machine tech studies.    Administration, teachers and parents attended a special presentation in the McCann library to acknowledge the success of the juniors and seniors who after scoring highly on the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative, or "MACWIC," exam, received a certification proving that they are ready for the workforce.   "When we talk about what makes McCann unique and what we have to offer to our students one of the things we really try to focus on as a school

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