NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A change in career, a chance to do something interesting, a desire to follow a passion.
The 14 graduates of McCann Technical School's postsecondary program had a variety of reasons for entering the nearly yearlong program. And at Monday night pinning, they celebrated their successful completion in the fields of cosmetology, dental assisting, medical assisting and surgical assisting.
"I like working with people. I worked at the nursing home for eight years now. I really enjoyed it so I wanted to pursue something a little bit more involved," Kathleen Lyon of North Adams said. "So I chose to come in and do medical assisting."
She enjoyed the course but acknowledged it was easy.
"It was a lot of hard work, but I did it," she smiled.
Lyon is taking a couple weeks off but but Kenzie Oblisk of Pittsfield already has a job lined up next week with Dr. Natalya Yantovsky.
"I'm excited to start working for real," Oblisk said.
"I guess I always was interested in dental hygiene, but this is a much more local program for me," she continued. "One year was more doable when you have a little one."
Superintendent James Brosnan described the graduates as the "most persevering people that are know."
Monday was also a time to thank the family members, he said, because without them, the graduates could not have succeeded.
"There is no program out there that is condensed, is as difficult in a short period as ours," he said of the courses that run from September to June.
Gary Rivers, chairman of the McCann School Committee and the school's former principal, recalled during his college years how they'd ask each other how many "older" students were in their evening classes.
"We were talking about nontraditional students," he said. "And it was always the more nontraditional students that were taking evening classes at the university, then the tougher the course was, because you guys always threw the curve right up to the top, so that we had to be more attentive to our studies."
The people who continue their pursuit of knowledge later in life, Rivers continued, "are extremely motivated and focused."
"They have life experience and now know what they want in life," he said. "So I'm not surprised your sitting here tonight. ...
"Because of your drive and determination, you have succeeded and are now ready to reap the rewards of your hard work."
The graduates are:
Joelle Peterson of North Adams
Julia Cornwell of Dalton
Megan Cote of North Adams
Dominique Crews of Pittsfield
Alexandra Kowalczyk of Windsor
Kenzie Oblisk of Pittsfield
Anthony Carvalho of Williamstown
Kathleen Lyon of North Adams
Erica Prevey of North Adams
Jocelynne Smith of North Adams
Elizabeth Addington of Chester
Jessica Boulais of Pittsfield
Marley Brown of Adams
Stephanie Shatford of Adams
Skills USA State Leadership and Skills Conference Awards
Silver Medal Winner
Dental Assisting: Dominique Crews Gold Medal Winners
Dental Assisting: Kenzie Oblisk
Job Interview: Stephanie Shatford
Dominique Crews will be attending the annual Skills USA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., later this month.
Scholarships and Awards
Berkshire District Dental Assistants Association Scholarship: Kenzie Oblisk
Sharon Ferguson Memorial Scholarship: Megan Cote
Jamie Sacchetti Drennan Memorial Scholarship: Stephanie Shatford
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Yes, even though the thermometer says 63 in the middle of the day, the calendar says it's now summer, so break out the tank tops and flip flops. What? You've had them out already? And then put them away? Then brought them back out again?
We've been getting whiplash with this last-spring weather for sure.
But let's get through a cool and dark Friday, and a better weekend awaits. The sun is supposed to shine all day Saturday and Sunday, with a temperatures in the 70s - maybe hitting 80 on Sunday, according to AccuWeather.
While that's not super summer weather, it's good enough to get out and do some yard work or go swimming at one of our beautiful ponds or lakes, or attend a fun outdoor Berkshire event - like a Pittsfield Suns game on Saturday or the Berkshire Bike-n-Fly in Great Barrington or a North Adams Steeplecats game on Sunday. Find all this weekend's activities right here on iBerkshires.com.
Parts of that hole, however, could be filled by the inspiring and uplifting words of the speakers who came to the podium on Friday to share what the idea of "building community" — the theme of the meeting, complete with a Lego brick motif and cake — meant to them. click for more
Christian Womble tossed a complete-game with 10 strikeouts and scored the first run, and Anton Lazits had a solo home run to lead Taconic to a 5-1 win over Wahconah in the Western Mass Division 3 championship at UMass on Saturday. click for more