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Carl Ameen, left, Allendale School principal; Howard 'Jake' Eberwein, Pittsfield Schools superintendent; honoree Jessica S. Bazinet; Ben Doren, principal, Monument Valley Middle School; honoree Catherine Marquet Elliott; Peter Dillon, Berkshire Hills Regional School District superintendent; honoree Teresa Kardasen; and Pat Pellegrino, program director at the Pediatric Development Center.

Three Local Educators Recognized at MCLA Ceremony

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Educational leaders, community members, and colleagues gathered at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Thursday, April 26, to honor three Berkshire County educators for their teaching and leadership at the second annual Berkshire County Educator Recognition Award ceremony.

The award was presented by MCLA in collaboration with the Berkshire Compact for Education and Berkshire County K-12 superintendents.

Recognized at the ceremony were Jessica S. Bazinet, a first-grade teacher at Allendale School in Pittsfield; Catherine Marquet Elliott, who teaches French and Spanish at Monument Valley Regional Middle School in Great Barrington; and Teresa Kardasen, a developmental specialist at the Pediatric Development Center in Pittsfield.

MCLA President Mary K. Grant acknowledged the important work of these educators, and the difference they make for their students, their schools, and their communities.

"I am so pleased to honor these outstanding educators and to celebrate the important, transformative work they do," Grant said. "Through these remarkable teachers, we honor all educators who are at work every day on behalf of young people and their families. Their work is critical to changing lives and to sustaining our democratic society."

Bazinet, a 2005 and 2007 graduate of MCLA, has worked for seven years in the Pittsfield Public Schools. She is recognized by colleagues as a gifted and effective educator, and as a leader who creates a community that
brings students, teachers, and parents together to build a positive learning environment.

Elliott has taught French and Spanish for more than 23 years in both the Berkshire Hills and Southern Berkshire Regional school districts, where she is lauded for making her classroom "a door to a global and caring community," and increasing students' cultural awareness.

Kardasen has been at the Pediatric Development Center for more than 22 years, and was formerly an early childhood special needs preschool teacher and preschool screening evaluator in the Central Berkshire Regional School District. She has been recognized for her talent in creating natural learning environments for young children.

"This year's award recipients work in very different settings, including an agency, an urban elementary school, and a regional middle school. They have pursued different paths in their careers, but they are united by their love of teaching and their commitment to their students," McCann Technical School Superintendent James Brosnan said. "These educators are an inspiration not only to their students but to their colleagues and the entire educational community."

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