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Congressman Neal Stresses Free Speech at MCLA Commencement
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:30PM / Saturday, May 18, 2019
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More than 400 degrees and certificates were awarded.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal urged the new graduates of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to not only hear, but to listen and not to be afraid of encountering alternative opinions.   Rather, he said, determine the facts before forming an opinion because that will make your argument "more clear and more crisp."   "It helps me to gain a fresh perspective and new ideas and to hear both sides of arguments and leads to, I hope, a new perspective," he said. "Despite the turmoil which we find the country in, and the incendiary nature of the public debate, democracy is

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BCC hires new TRiO Academic Counselor
10:54AM / Friday, May 17, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired Michael Obasohan as the new TRiO Academic Counselor in the TRiO Student Support Services Program.

Obasohan previously worked as the assistant director of Diversity Programs and Multicultural Education and as an adjunct faculty member at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

He received his master of science degree for higher education in general administration from Bay Path University and his bachelor of arts management degree from MCLA. He lives in North Adams.

The TRiO (Talent, Resources, Initiative, Opportunity) Student Support Service program at BCC is a free federally funded program under the U.S. Department of

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Preschool, Kindergarten Registrations Scheduled Around County
09:43AM / Wednesday, May 15, 2019
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Berkshire County schools are starting to schedule preschool and kindergarten registration dates for the 2019-20 school year. Schools can send their information to info@iberkshires.com to be included on this list.

All students, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or homelessness, have equal access to the general education program and the full range of any occupational, vocational programs offered by public school districts.

Adams/St. Stanislaus Kostka

Preschool open house and registration for 3- and 4-year-olds will be held on Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. in the St. Stanislaus Kostka preschool building on

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Mount Greylock School District Developing Strategic Plan
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:19PM / Tuesday, May 14, 2019
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District has identified five key goals to address in the district's first strategic plan since it fully regionalized to include its two elementary schools in November 2017.   Superintendent Kimberley Grady laid out the goals and discussed some of the steps the district can take to address them at last week's special meeting of the School Committee.   Grady said the plan is being developed by a committee of 15 to 20 people representing the three schools' principals, two members of the School Committee, staff and community members.   "It's important for us to really focus on our goals and

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Elms College to Hold 88th Commencement May 18
03:04PM / Monday, May 13, 2019
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Elms College will confer degrees on 536 degrees on Saturday, May 18, at the Mass Mutual Center.    The commencement speaker is health-care entrepreneur and philanthropist William Lyons III, who will receive an honorary degree. Also receiving honorary degrees will be Savina Martin, co-chair of the Massachusetts Poor People's Campaign, and Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, executive director of Catholic Charities Agency in the Diocese of Springfield, in recognition of their contributions to the world.   The 91-year-old Catholic liberal arts college will present 187 bachelor of arts degrees, 206 bachelor of science degrees, 116 master's degrees 20

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Wahconah Seniors Sign 'Letters of Intent' to Go into Teaching
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:34AM / Saturday, May 11, 2019
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DALTON, Mass. — For young Hannah Perault, unexpected days off helped her start on a career path.   "Ever since I was in elementary school, the teachers I had had a great influence on me," the Wahconah Regional High School senior said on Thursday afternoon. "They were always so positive and energetic, and I always wanted to be like them.   "I remember vividly on snow days staying home with my brother and sister and playing school. And I would be the teacher because that was my favorite thing to do."   In the fall, Perault plans to pursue that dream as an elementary education major at North Adams' Massachusetts College of Liberal

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DOJ Bringing 'SPIRIT' Program to Area Schools
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:32AM / Thursday, May 09, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The U.S. Department of Justice is bringing training to the county to help prevent racial violence in the schools.   Superintendent Jason McCandless said Central Berkshire Regional School District had headed an effort to bring in the department's Student Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together (SPIRIT) program and invited other districts to send representatives to the first meeting. McCandless said eventually the goal is to open to a wider region.   "The lead school in the whole county on it is Central Berkshire Regional School District. Dr. [Laurie] Casna, their superintendent, has been working with Multicultural Bridge really

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Taconic High's Graduation to Be Held at Boys & Girls Club
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:33AM / Thursday, May 09, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The first class to graduate from the newly constructed Taconic High School will do so at the Boys and Girls Club.   The graduation had typically been held in the high school's gymnasium. However, the new school's gym is smaller than the previous one and last year's graduation was the last one before the former home of the Braves was torn down.    McCandless said the size of the new gymnasium would have limited families to have about four tickets inside and that other family members would have to watch it on a screen in the auditorium.   "We have lots of young people with big families, with complicated families, with step parents

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McCann Brings Home Gold From SkillsUSA
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:04AM / Wednesday, May 08, 2019
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School had another successful year at the SkillsUSA state competition, bringing home six gold medals.   Seven McCann students can now say they are the best in the state: Nate Myers, Aubrey Tetlow, Joe Vigiard, Ethan Walden, Kenzie Oblisk, Stephanie Shatford, and Cecilia Marszalek all came out on top in their trades.   "I don't think they understand the magnitude of what they have accomplished and to be able to graduate and say that you are the best in the state in your field is a huge thing," Principal Justin Kratz said on Tuesday morning. "With your gold medals, you put that on your resume and you hold the keys to a

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Pittsfield Gets Grant to Help Recruit Teachers of Color
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:00PM / Thursday, May 02, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department reeled in a $42,000 grant to help recruit young teachers of color.   Superintendent Jason McCandless said the program will connect teachers studying at North Carolina Agriculture and Technical University. In the summer the district will bring a group of the students studying there to the Berkshires, introduce them to the school system, show them around the area, and talk to them about the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure and what it takes to become a teacher in the state.   "This summer we want to get people here. In the long run, we see developing relationships with sophomores, second-year students, and grow that

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