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North Adams School Committee Says Hello, Goodbye and Congratulations
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:44AM / Wednesday, December 06, 2023
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Superintendent Barbara Malkas and Mayor Jennifer Macksey pose with Brooke Bishop, center, this year's recipient of the Superintendent's Certificate of Academic Excellence.

Brooke Bishop's family was in attendance.

The School Committee for this term ends Jan 1. They are Alyssa Tomkowicz, left, David Sookey, Karen Bond, Emily Daunais, Macksey, Tara Jacobs and Richard Alcombright. All will be returning except for Bond, who did not run for re-election.

Carson Rylander, left, and Jacob Gladu, far right, join the committee on Tuesday evening as student representatives.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The last School Committee meeting of the year on Tuesday was full of hellos, goodbyes and congratulations. 
Incoming member Cody Chamberlain was in attendance, student representatives Carson Rylander and Jacob Gladu joined the committee and Karen Bond, whose term is ending, was bid farewell. 
The congratulations were largely for Drury High senior Brooke Bishop, who was awarded the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Certificate of Academic Excellence. 
The daughter of Krista and Lee Bishop of the town of Florida was chosen, said Superintendent Barbara Malkas, for her leadership, activities and her pursuit of academic excellence. 
"I'd really like to thank the Bishop family for coming here this evening and supporting Brooke throughout her educational career," said Malkas.
Bishop's been captain of the soccer, basketball and softball teams as well as playing on the travel and Amateur Athletic Union teams. She's been class president for the past three years, a student ambassador, peer mediator and editor of the yearbook.
Malkas also noted that she's been inducted into the two honor societies — Nu Sigma and Pro Merito — and received the Saint Michael's Book Award and the Principal's Award for being in the top five in her class since freshman year. 
"She has taken a full honors and Advanced Placement course load and has taken advantage of several college courses at MCLA through our Early College Program," said the superintendent. "Brooke will attend Saint Michael's College in the fall, majoring in biochemistry and hopes to pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon."
The Bishops posed for photographs and then headed to Drury for Brooke to make Bucky Bullett Basketball Jamboree. 
Rylander and Gladu, president and member of the Student Council respectively, were introduced to the committee by Mayor Jennifer Macksey. 
They are both baseball players and eager to taken on leadership roles on the athletic field, in the school and in community service. 
Gladu said he sees his role as connecting teammates in a productive manner to succeed and to ensure all voices are heard; Rylander said community is important in giving people a sense of belonging and that he will make sure everyone feels like they are part of the school. 
Bond is completing her second four-year term on the committee after deciding not to run for re-election. She's served with three mayors and two superintendents, and on several subcommittees as well as being secretary. 
Bond had said she hoped to bring "a parent's voice to the table and an advocate" when re-elected in 2019, said Macksey. 
"She has succeeded in her mission and has brought so much more to the committee especially during the COVID pandemic, providing a knowledgeable point of view based on her everyday experience [Bond is director of laboratory services at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center]," said the mayor. "It is with heartfelt thank you and I wish Karen all the best and I thank her for her commitment and contributions to the students and families. We will miss you."
"I will miss you all, too," said Bond. 
Chamberlain will be sworn in on Jan. 1. The mayor thanked him for attending. "We all look forward to working with you," she said. 
In other business, Drury Principal Stephanie Kopala said 13 of the school's 52 seniors had been named John and Abigail Adams Scholarship recipients. If they attend a state school, they receive from $2,960 to $5,300 toward student charges.
Kopala, who was attending virtually, also had Annie Pecor hand out patches designed by the project-based learning Game of Life class. The students have been learning things such as first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, financial literacy, cyber security and interview skills. 
 "So they're very excited about this opportunity, and we wanted to share that with you," the principal said. 
The committee accepted donations of $150 and $250 from David and Diane Blair and Kyle and Rebecca King, respectively, for additional instruments for the elementary music program and $4,800 from the ABC Clothing Sale toward literacy efforts, including allowing the children to select their own books. 
• The superintendent and mayor also gave a brief update on the Greylock/Brayton School Project, which will be going before the full Massachusetts School Building Authority Board on Dec. 13. 
Malkas told the committee that their presentation to the Facilities Assessment Subcommittee last month went well. "Our education plan was very well received to the point that it was recommended that it be used as a model for other districts who are going through the process," she said. 
Macksey concurred, saying the subcommittee had been quite critical of the presentations that proceeded them. 
"And then we gave our presentation ... and it was a much different conversation," she said. "So I want to make sure to applaud the leadership team and our designers and architects and all the work that the School Building Committee because we really keyed ourselves up for success."
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