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MCLA Announces Distinguished Alumni Awards
12:46PM / Friday, September 29, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts announces that this year's Distinguished Alumni Awards were given to Jamal Ahamad '11, Wayne A. Soares '89, Susan A. Bell '97, Russell J. Pearce '60, Daniel J. Trombley '90 and Ellen L. Kennedy '83, who were honored at an awards ceremony as part of MCLA's annual reunion weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Ahamad received the Young Alumnus Award, which is presented to the individual who, within 10 years of their MCLA commencement, has shown significant growth in their chosen profession and/or career path, received recognition as an emerging leader through professional and/or community achievements,

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Panel Explores Big Challenges Facing Local Education System
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:18AM / Friday, September 29, 2017
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The forum was moderated by NAACP President Dennis Powell and included Alicia Costa from Working Cities, Brendan Sheran from Pittsfield High School, Andrea Wadsworth from the Lee School Committee, and William Cameron, the former superintendent of the Central Berkshire Regional School District. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Education advocates have identified some major issues facing the future of the county's public school system in health insurance, private educational institutions, transportation, funding, and population.    On Thursday, Jobs with Justice held a forum to bring those issues to the forefront, hoping to build momentum behind solving the problems.   The

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Clarksburg School Project Defeated by One Vote
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
10:20PM / Wednesday, September 27, 2017
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Town Moderator Bryan Tanner confers with Town Administrator Carl McKinney and Select Board members Jeffrey Levanos, Carlyle 'Chip' Chesbro and Kimberly Goodell.  CLARKSBURG, Mass. — An unprecedented special town meeting on the $19 million school project took a dramatic turn at the end when the vote was so close, town officials turned to legal experts for the solution.    The answer: the article failed by one — one — vote.    The authorization of the borrowing, of which $11.3 million would be reimbursed by the state, required a two-thirds vote.    Exactly 431 votes were cast: 144 were no votes and 287 were yes

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Clarksburg to Decide School Project Borrowing Wednesday
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:51AM / Tuesday, September 26, 2017
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The plans for the school would add on a gym and science and music room, seen to the image's left, and rebuild the 1970s wing on the right.  CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Voters will decide on Wednesday whether to move forward with a $19 million project to modernize the 50-year-old elementary school — and take on the 40 years of debt that go with it.      The first would authorize the town to appropriate, borrow or transfer funds of $19,097,075 for the renovation and addition. The Massachusetts School Building Authority requires towns to commit to the entire amount of a project but its Board of Directors voted to approve a grant of up to $11,360,552 million

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Clarksburg School Project Goes to Vote Next Week
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Thursday, September 21, 2017
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Superintendent Jonathan Lev answers questions at the third and final public information session on Wednesday.  CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The division in town over the proposed $19 million Clarksburg School project could be summed by a couple of neighbors.    One worries about how the project would drain the town's taxpayers and limit its ability to address its aging infrastructure. The other sees the town's most desirable asset being revamped with state picking up more than half the cost.   The second neighbor got applause at Wednesday's session, which had a tone strikingly different from that of just two weeks ago.    The first public session

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Education Task Force Keeps Focus on Creating Opportunities for Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force on Saturday pressed forward less than 48 hours after one school district voted to step back from its participation in the effort.   The committee had a full agenda for its regularly scheduled meeting at Nessacus Middle School, but Thursday's decision from the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee to withdraw from the task force colored the conversation.   Chairman John Hockridge opened the meeting by addressing the vote head on.   "I just wished they'd put off the discussion for one more meeting to give us the opportunity to tell them where we're coming from," Hockridge said of the

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MCLA Welcomes Seven New Faculty Members
01:19PM / Friday, September 15, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts recently welcomed seven new, full-time faculty members to five departments on campus, including five assistant professors and two instructors.

As an instructor in MCLA's Department of Physics, Bridget Gormalley, Class of 2009 will teach general physics courses, and also staff Bowman Hall's maker space. A native of Pittsfield, she earned her associate's degree in engineering from Berkshire Community College, her bachelor of science degree in physics, summa cum laude, from MCLA, and a master's degree in applied physics from Columbia University in New York, N.Y.

She previously worked at St. Joseph Central High

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Letter: Clarksburg School Project Not a Good Investment
Letters to the Editor,
07:00PM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017
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As a homeowner in Clarksburg who has young children I took a great interest in your recent article regarding the proposed Clarksburg $19M school project.

I believe greatly in investing in infrastructure and in education particularly. As a father to two special education students I am especially sensitive to the importance of public schools being able to well serve their local populations.

At the same time I believe in looking at fiscal responsibility seriously, trying to fairly weigh what is likely a good long term investment versus that which is a risk level that perhaps raises too many red flags.

From the start it is troublesome that it was explained that a 40-year term was chosen

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Clarksburg Debating Pros, Cons of $19M School Project
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:56PM / Thursday, September 07, 2017
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Select Board Chairman Jeffrey Levanos wants residents to understand what the vote will mean for them. The plans can be found on the school website. CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Residents in this small town are facing a tough choice in the coming weeks: whether or not to support a $19 million school building project.    Whichever way the vote goes, it's going to have a significant impact on the town, its students and its citizens.    School proponents say the estimated $400 annual increase on property tax bills over 40 years will pay off by keeping the 65-year-old school open and attracting families; others worry that if the project fails, so will the school, and

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North Adams School Officials Give Superintendent High Marks
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:03AM / Thursday, September 07, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The superintendent of schools has met her goals and was marked proficient across the board for her first year on the job.    The School Committee on Tuesday night confirmed its first evaluation of Superintendent Barbara Malkas, who was hired in May 2016. The evaluation and discussion by the committee had taken place at its last meeting at the end of June; the final document with written comments was approved on Tuesday.   "It was actually a wonderful process and I think to do it as the committee of the whole was a good choice for us because everyone in the room got to learn this as the first time we went through it," Mayor Richard

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