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Dan Pompi is surrounded by family on Monday night after getting the Superintendent's Award. The Hoosac senior plans to study aeronautical engineering.

Dan Pompi Receives Academic Excellence Award

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff
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Dan Pompi receives the Superintendent's Award for Academic Excellence from Superintendent Aaron Dean.
ADAMS, Mass. — Hoosac Valley High School senior Dan Pompi is this year's recipient of the Superintendent's Award for Academic Excellence 
Superintendent of Schools Aaron Dean made the presentation at Monday's School Committee meeting as a number of family members looked on. 
Each year, superintendents from across the state honor the top-ranking student from their district with the award. The award is sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.
"When I was a principal my favorite part of the job was celebrating student successes. As superintendent that continues to be the favorite part of my job," Dean said as he presented Pompi with the award. "These things don't happen by accident. You have a wonderful support system. I couldn't think of a better recipient for this."
High School Principal Colleen Byrd summed up several emails she received from faculty with effusive praise for Pompi as a student and a person. 
"I went through all the [letters] and here's what I heard: fostering, eager, natural, focused, friendly, leader, positive. And without fail every single morning when you walk into school since I've been principal you always look  me in the eye and say good morning and smile. I don't think you know how important that is," Byrd said. "You deserve this award for your character and your academics. It couldn't happen to a better young man."
Pompi was surprised to receive the award and quickly praised his family for their support. 
"It was nice to hear all that. I found out about this about an hour ago. I wasn't expecting it. I know there are a lot of students with the same well-roundedness at Hoosac so I'm sure it was tough competition," he said. "[My mom] always pushes me. It's never the easy route. She's always been working in education so she's like the principal at home. And my dad is an engineer so I hope to kind of follow his path."
Pompi wants to study aerospace engineering in college and he said all his applications are in and he's nervously waiting.
"I've applied to 10 schools. The decisions start coming out soon. I think UMass is the first that comes out, maybe this week," he said. 
Asked what his dream school is, he replied quickly: "[University of Southern California]. It's a stretch but we'll see. Eleven percent (acceptance rate)."
Pompi parents Jill and Christopher, siblings Natalie and Nick, and aunt and uncle David and Tina Maselli were on hand for the ceremony.

Tags: academic award,   graduation 2020,   

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Berkshire Food Project Recognizes Hours Put in by Volunteers

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Three generations of volunteers with Linda Palumbo, left, Cindy Bolte, Alicia Rondeau and Cassandra Shoestack.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Five days a week a troop volunteers helps the small staff of the Berkshire Food Project feed hundreds of people. 
On Monday night, the tables were turned. 
More than 30 volunteers and attending family members were served up a choice of beef wellington and potato, salmon and rice, or a vegetarian meal, along with appetizers, dessert and beverages.
"Just from 2018 to 2019, [we served] 10,000 more meals, right, a 28 percent increase in 2019. So the numbers on the stove, same amount of counterspace. The only thing that changed is the capacity of our volunteers. So thank you, guys," said Executive Director Kim McMann. 
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