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Adams-Cheshire Reaches Agreement With Incoming Superintendent

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee has come to a contract agreement with  John Vosburgh, its new superintendent.

"The good part is he has signed, and he is ready to come," said retiring Superintendent Robert Putnam on Monday.

The School Committee voted to hire the principal of Pittsfield's Taconic High School in April after a series of interviews. Vosburgh will replace Putnam, who will retire at the end of the school year.

Acting Chairman Adam Emerson said the agreement was reached last week and the details of the contract will be available after being compiled by the district's attorney.

In other business, Putnam announced that the district has hired Courtney Bopp as the school psychologist.

"We had a number of great candidates, but we couldn't have picked a better candidate for this job," Putnam said. "Her specialty is behavioral issues ... I think she will help us meet the needs of all of our students."

The position is an addition to the district that was added to the fiscal 2019 budget.

Putnam also noted in his report that a film crew from the University of Massachusetts at Boston will visit Hoosac Valley Elementary School on Tuesday to document the school's successful Improving Teacher Quality Program.

"Hoosac Valley Elementary has received the honor of being featured in the Improving Teacher Quality Berkshire Early Learning Lab capstone project," Putnam said. "The project is a digital toolkit that will give other institutions information about how to recreate successful projects like ours."

The school, along with other districts in the county and state, has received grant funding for three years since 2014 to fund professional development focused on the science of early learning – specifically grades pre-K through second.

The program looks to improve learning by increasing teachers' understanding of the science of early learning.

"This has been a great program and it gives teachers great opportunities," Putnam said. "The nice thing for the district is basically we are looked at, Hoosac Elementary is looked at, as a success. This is what you want to be like."

Putnam went on to say that the district will be in search of a new special education director. Current Director Jacquelyn Daniels has left her post to take on the position of an English language arts interventionist teacher at the middle school.

Putnum said although the job will be posted soon, the incoming superintendent will be charged with hiring a new director.

The superintendent also said the elementary school gymnasium stairway repair project has been completed and chimney repair will begin once school is out of session.  

Putnam said the district is working on implementing a districtwide recycling program like the one at the high school.

"We want to make sure recycling is happening at all levels so that is what we are working for," he said. "The idea is to work this into the running of the schools."

The plan is to start at the middle school and have the students involved with the high school program to act as mentors. A similar program is in initial talks for the elementary school. 


Tags: ACRSD,   superintendent,   

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St. Stan's Students Get Crash Course in Accident Reconstruction

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — State Troopers Kyle Cahoon and Sean Curley, members of the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (CARS) Unit, met with St. Stanislaus Kostka middle school students to provide an in-depth look into the process and science behind accident reconstruction.
 
On Friday, May 17, the troopers showed students how they determine the causes of vehicular crashes and identify who may be at fault. Curley said CARS is not called to every accident but only the worst of the worst that conclude in severe injury, death, or considerable property damage.
 
"If we have a real bad crash where somebody is likely not to make it, that's when we get a phone call," he said. "The officer on the road will realize that this is a very, very serious crash, and it might be outside of his scope of what he does. He'll call the State Police."
 
He added that there are four CARS units across the state, but theirs covers the largest distance in Western Mass — from Worcester to Berkshire County.
 
"So, there are response times for us that are a long time," he said. "I have driven for almost two hours with my lights and sirens on."
 
According to Cahoon, there are three common elements that contribute to a crash: the driver, the vehicle, and the environment. He emphasized that accidents are rarely caused solely by vehicles. Instead, human factors, such as driver distraction or adverse road conditions, are typically the primary causes of accidents.
 
"It's not typically just an accident," Cahoon said. "Like they might be speeding and not paying attention, they might be on their cell phone when they shouldn't be. Ninety-nine percent of crashes we investigate are not accidents."
 
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