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The new junior board of directors. Seated, Vanessa Ramos, McCann, left, Brent Parmenter, Hoosac Valley; Jordanne Wotkowicz, McCann Tech; James Churchill, Mount Greylock, and Cady Ketcham, Mount Greylock; standing, Williamstown Savings President John Law; Chip Kirchner, BArT; Dean Covert, BArT; Tanner Bird, Hoosac Valley; Gary Lavariere, Drury; Stephen Bolognani, Drury, and Richard Bullett, chairman of Hoosac and Williamstown banks.

MountainOne Junior Board Selected for 2011-2012

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MountainOne Financial Partners, working in cooperation with five Northern Berkshire high schools, has selected the Junior Board of Directors for the 2011-2012 school year.

"Our Junior Board continues to be very well received by everyone involved — the students, the schools, and our own staff," said Stephen Crowe, MountainOne president and chief executive officer.  "We continue to be especially grateful for the schools' wholehearted support of this initiative, and excited about the programs the students help to shape."

Now in its sixth year, the Junior Board is composed of a junior and a senior from each of the five schools. This year's team is Charles "Chip" Kirchner and Dean Covert  from Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School, Vanessa Ramos and Jordanne Wotkowicz  from Charles H. McCann Technical School, Gary Lavariere and Stephen Bolognani from Drury High School, Tanner Bird and Brent Parmenter from Hoosac Valley High School, and James Churchill and Cady Ketcham from Mount Greylock Regional High School.

School faculty and administrators assist with the selection of the student representatives from their school, based on the student's desire to pursue a business career, academic strength, outgoing personality, and active participation in extracurricular activities. Students serve two-year terms coinciding with the school calendar.

The Junior Board of Directors provides participating students with an understanding of how businesses operate. During monthly meetings in the MountainOne board room, Junior Board members learn about important business topics including human resources, finance, operations, marketing, sales, and information technology. The instructors for each of these sessions are top-level professionals from various MountainOne departments. Students also participate in an annual project.

This year's annual project will be to serve as a focus group for the Berkshire Compact for Higher Education. The compact's primary purpose is to encourage high school students to pursue a college education or additional career training as a social norm. Its goals include encouraging students and families to value and invest in education, raising high school and college graduation rates, and narrowing the gap between people and opportunities.

The members of the Junior Board will focus on four compact projects: a financial literacy program, the compact's website, its Passport to College and the Passport Facebook page. Students will present their annual project at the final meeting in May.

Coordinating this year's board are MountainOne employees Katie O'Neill and Adam Beer.

MountainOne Financial Partners, headquartered in North Adams, has combined assets of over $850 million and includes Hoosac Bank, Williamstown Savings Bank, and South Coastal Bank; Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance Agency and  True North Financial Services.

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