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Mount Greylock School District Seeks Williamstown Resident to Fill Vacant Committee Seat

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District has a vacancy on its School Committee and less than a month to fill the position.
School Committee Vice Chairman Dan Caplinger informed the Williamstown Select Board on Monday that Joe Bergeron, one of four Williamstown residents on and chairman of the seven-person committee, has resigned.
The committee is seeking applicants for another Williamstown resident to fill out the remainder of Bergeron's term, which expires with the November 2020 biennial election.
The regional agreement that binds Williamstown and Lanesborough, last approved by the voters two years ago, spells out the procedure for filling a vacancy. The select boards of both member towns need to meet in a joint meeting with the remaining six School Committee members to vote on a replacement within 30 days of the vacancy.
Bergeron informed the district of his need to step down in a letter dated June 5, Caplinger said.
"This is so he can accompany his wife and family on a move to the West Coast," Select Board Chair Jeffrey Thomas said. "Joe's wife has taken a position as the capital campaign director for the Castilleja School in Palo Alto, Calif.
"They're going to be moving as soon as the kids finish school this year."
Bergeron's wife, Geraldine Shen, is the former executive director of Williamstown's Sand Springs Recreation Center. Regina DiLego had stepped in as chairman last month for what was to be a temporary absence by Bergeron.
Caplinger noted that the district is welcoming all potential candidates for the job, and interested applicants can contact DiLego at, any other committee member, the district office or the office at either Williamstown Elementary School or Mount Greylock.
The joint meeting, tentatively set for June 24, will be moderated by Williamstown Town Moderator Adam Filson; the regional agreement calls for the moderator from the town with the committee vacancy to run the meeting.
As Caplinger explained the process, the successful candidate will need to receive a simple majority of the joint meeting, which could include up to 14 voting members: the five-member Williamstown Select Board, the three-person Lanesborough Select Board and the six remaining School Committee members.
The Mount Greylock School Committee has four members who are residents of Williamstown and three who are residents of Lanesborough, a distribution derived from the relative populations of the district's two  member towns.
In the event of a tie at the joint meeting, the moderator would cast the deciding vote, the agreement reads.
Bergeron first became involved in school committee work as a member of the former Williamstown Elementary School Committee. In that capacity, he helped drive the regionalization process that ended with the dissolution of the three "legacy" school committees, including the WES committee, when PreK-12 regionalization of the district's three schools was approved by voters in 2017.
He subsequently chaired on the Transition Committee that directed the district until the November biennial election, where he was elected to a seat on the first School Committee of the fully regionalized district.
"It's been challenging time," said Thomas, serving his first meeting as chairman of the Select Board. "Great progress has been made, and Joe deserves a lot of the credit. I want to take this opportunity to thank Joe, though he's not here, for his service and say how much the community is going to miss him."

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Stockbridge-Munsee Community Reclaims Some of Its History

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

A World War II-era mural of Ephraim Wiliams and Mohawk leader Theyanoguin is being removed from the Log to Special Collections as part of the college's examination of its history and relationship with the area and community.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — More than two centuries after they were displaced from lands now known as Berkshire County, the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians are coming back to the Berkshires.
Last week, the president of Williams College announced to the school community that the college will provide office space to the Stockbridge-Munsee Community's Tribal Historic Preservation Extension Office.
The community's director of cultural affairs said this week that the group is relocating its current regional office from Troy, N.Y., east to Williamstown as part of a plan to create a stronger partnership with the liberal arts college.
"The goal is to help form a relationship with the college, not just through historic preservation, but there are programs at Williams like Native American studies and archaeology programs that we'd love to be a part of," Heather Bruegl said from her office in Bowler, Wis., site of the headquarters for the Stockbridge-Munsee Band.
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