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Berkshire Community College Hires New Reference Librarian
01:39PM / Friday, July 21, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has brought a new reference librarian on staff.

Andrea Robare has been hired as Jonathan Edwards Library's full-time reference librarian and will work closely with the college's coordinator of Library Services, Karen Carreras-Hubbard, to expand information literacy and other library services across the campus.

Robare, who lives in North Adams, previously worked for 10 years as the reference and instructional librarian at Southern Vermont College. She holds a master of science in information systems degree in library services from SUNY-Albany, a bachelor of arts degree in English from MCLA and an associate of arts degree in

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State Budget Includes $50K to Keep Preschool at Conte, Morningside
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Friday, July 21, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department was close to closing all of its preschool classes at Morningside and Conte Community schools, two schools that need it the most.   But, between the efforts of state legislators and the teachers union, there will at least be a couple classes left. The state budget includes $50,000 to help fund those programs.    "This money will go to restore two paraprofessional positions, which in addition to two teaching positions restored by the [United Educators of Pittsfield] giving up half of their step increase (these are just two of several positions which that allowed to stay) means we go from having zero regular-education pre-k

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MCLA, BCC Agreement Bolsters Early Ed Degree Programs
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:55PM / Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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The cohort program at MCLA helped Heather Thompson balance work, raising a child, and continuing her education. She praised the agreement making it easier for others to follow her path to higher education. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Heather Thompson started going to college in 1998. And then found out she was expecting a child.   She returned home to the Berkshires and six months after giving birth, enrolled at Berkshire Community College.   She got a job at the Boys and Girls Club but knew if she wanted to further her career she needed to get a bachelor's degree.   "Fourteen years went by and I knew I had to go back to school, I was a single mom essentially, I

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Berkshire County Education Task Force's Single-District Solution Surprises Its Chair
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:32PM / Tuesday, July 18, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The chairman of the Berkshire County Education Task Force says he was as surprised as anyone when the group voted to recommend a single school district for the county's 30 towns and two cities.   But John Hockridge is convinced that the proposal makes sense for students and taxpayers alike.   "Most of us thought that was not the direction we were headed in 32 meetings over the last couple of years," Hockridge, a member of the North Adams School Committee, said on Tuesday. "But we went through a process on Saturday that involved breaking into six groups for thorough discussions of the options.   "From the breakout groups, the

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Berkshire County Arc Awards Scholarships to Five Local High School Seniors
12:44PM / Friday, July 14, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Arc and the Berkshire County Arc Down Syndrome Family Group have awarded scholarships ranging upwards from $1,000 to the following five high school seniors who demonstrated outstanding prior involvement with individuals with disabilities and the potential to contribute to the field of human services.

The students are:

· Jessie Downer, Wahconah Regional High School (Recipient of the Carol Craighead Memorial Scholarship Award, which is funded by Berkshire County Arc and the Berkshire County Arc Down Syndrome Family Group)

· Anthony Melski, Pittsfield High School

· Aubrey Milligan, Wahconah Regional High School

·

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Miss Hall's School Appoints Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management
11:33AM / Friday, July 14, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — David Hopkins has joined the Miss Hall's School as director of Admissions and Enrollment Management.

In his role, Hopkins has responsibility for all of the school's enrollment management and student recruitment efforts, including the development and implementation of strategies to meet enrollment objectives and provide outreach for Miss Hall's both locally and globally. He also joins the school's Leadership Team, the senior management team that meets regularly to exchange information, set policy, advise the head of school, and anticipate future needs.

"I am thrilled to welcome David to Miss Hall's," said Head of School Julia Heaton.

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McCann Students Bring Home Gold, Bronze From SkillsUSA Nationals
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:40AM / Thursday, July 13, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School students brought home a gold medal from the automated manufacturing technology competition and a bronze medal in dental assisting from the SkillsUSA National Competition.   Graduating seniors Madison Gigliotti, William Kipp and Salvador Alcala, and postsecondary student Carey Contini returned from Louisville, Ky., as champions in their respective fields.   "To come back and to be able to say you are the best in the country is a big deal," Superintendent James Brosnan said. "It is the major leagues and it's a hell of an honor for them to represent the school."    Gigliotti, Kipp and Alcala,

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Taconic Construction: Project On Budget
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:20AM / Tuesday, July 11, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Taconic High School construction budget is trending on target, according to Thomas Meyer of project manager Skanska USA.   Construction on the $120.8 million high school is 43 percent complete, and hitting the halfway mark in the coming weeks. On Monday, the School Building Needs Commission, along with state Sen. Adam Hinds, state Reps. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Paul Mark, Mayor Linda Tyer, and an array of city councilors took a tour of the building.   Following the tour, Skanska officials reported that the project is both on time and on budget.   Meyer used the contingency budgets as the way to track the project. Those budgets are used for

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Berkshire Arts & Tech Says Goodbye to Founding Director
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:32AM / Sunday, July 09, 2017
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Julia Bowen, center, flanked by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Richard Alcombright on Saturday after receiving a certificate of recognition from the senator. Her husband, Brad Svrluga, is at left. ADAMS, Mass. — It's not every educational leader who gets a bridge, or two, named after them. But that's exactly how Julia Bowen will be remembered.    Bowen shepherded the Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School over the past 14 years, bridging its beginnings as a three-grade school in rented rooms to a middle and high school in its own renovated and expanded building.    Her legacy as executive director at BArT was cemented in

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Taconic Construction: Halfway Point In Sight
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:33PM / Friday, July 07, 2017
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Artist's rendition of the new Taconic High School building once completed. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Construction on the new Taconic High School is quickly approaching the halfway point.   By the end of the month, the $120.8 million project should be right at the 50 percent completion mark.   The target is to have the entire building enclosed by Thanksgiving, furniture starting to be moved into the building in March, and then ready for occupancy next summer.    Right now, all of the precast concrete work on the exterior has been completed and steel is close to being completed. Since school let out, workers have expanded into the main driveway to work on the

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