MCLA Announces Recipients of Berkshire County Educator Recognition Awards

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the recipients of the eighth annual Berkshire County Educator Recognition Award. This award, presented by MCLA in collaboration with Berkshire County K-12 superintendents and Berkshire Community College, was created to honor the region’s exceptional teachers.

The recipients, all of whom recently were recognized at an MCLA ceremony, are Deborah Hartwig (Early Childhood – Community Setting), a Head Start teacher at Berkshire Head Start in Adams; April Mazzeo (Pre-K-Grade 2), a first-grade teacher at Hoosac Valley Elementary School in the Adams-Cheshire School District; Kimberly Comier (Grades 3-6), a sixth-grade English language arts teacher at Monument Valley Regional Middle School in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District; and Ellen Kaiser (Grades 7-12), a middle school social studies teacher at Mount Greylock Regional High School in the Mount Greylock Regional School District.

MCLA President James F. Birge said that MCLA is proud to recognize the dedication and commitment of outstanding teachers in Berkshire County each year.

“These exceptional teachers work diligently to teach, guide and encourage our children to to reach their full potential and to be the very best that they can be,” Birge said. “It was our pleasure to honor and celebrate these fine award recipients, whose efforts have benefitted so many children throughout the community.”

Hartwig holds her associate’s degree from Berkshire Community College and her bachelor of science degree from MCLA. A lead teacher since 2005, she leads as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) coach under the Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) grant, of which Head Start is a partnering organization.

A teacher for 11 years, Mazzeo previously taught pre-kindergarten and third grade at St. Mark’s School in Pittsfield. Her work as a STEAM site coordinator and building leader under the multi-year ITQ grant, which is administered by MCLA, provided important, long-term professional development for her colleagues. She holds her bachelor of science degree from MCLA, and her Masters of Education degree from American International College in Springfield.

Cormier was a preschool teacher who also taught the sixth grade at Undermountain Elementary School before moving to Monument Valley in 2008. There, she also serves as a curriculum articulation project leader, and serves on numerous school and district committees. She holds her bachelor of arts degree from St. Joseph College, and her master of art from UMASS-Amherst.

Kaiser has served in numerous educational roles, including as a curriculum coordinator, a middle school division leader, a team leader, and in leadership roles such as assistant principal and co-principal. She holds her bachelor of arts degree from MCLA and her master of education degree from Lesley University in Cambridge.


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North Adams Eyeing Street Closures to Aid Local Businesses

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

One possible option for Eagle Street would close it to motor vehicle traffic.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city is looking for ways to expand opportunities for outdoor dining, starting on Monday with Center Street. 
 
A section of Center Street near Marshall Street will be shut down on Monday along with part of a private parking lot between the Mulcare Building and Juvenile Court. Traffic will be able to enter the St. Anthony Municipal Parking Lot from Center and exit the parking lot off Holden.
 
Officials are also working the North Adams Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses in submitting a grant application to the state Department of Transportation's Shared Streets and Spaces. MassDOT has set aside some $5 million in grant funding designed to aid communities in supporting outdoor and pedestrian activities during the pandemic. There are also MassWorks grants available, according to Stantec's Liza Cohen.
 
The grant application was the subject of a meeting on Thursday seeking input from downtown restaurateurs on several possible dining areas on Eagle, Holden and Center streets. 
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