The McCann School Committee, with new member Peter Breen, meets last week.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School senior Vanessa Harrington has been presented with the Superintendent's Award for 2019.
"You will lead the rest of the world," Superintendent James Brosnon said Thursday in front of Harrington's family and the School Committee. "You have that innate piece."
Each year, superintendents across the state award one student with a Certificate of Academic Excellence, sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.
Typically the award is given out in December, however, the multi-talented Harrington was unable to attend because she was performing in a dance competition in Disney World in the state of Florida.
Principal Justin Kratz said Harrington, from Cheshire, is a senior in the information technology program and has a 4.24 grade-point average -- the highest in the class of 2020. She is taking three Advanced Placement courses and hopes to attend Villanova University.
Kratz read some statements from Harrington's teachers and said they all were thankful for the opportunity to sing her praises.
"Our teachers are always eager to let us know the great things students do but I don't think I have ever received so many thank-yous," he said. "So your teachers had a lot of good things to say about you."
The principal read quotes including:
"I use the term unfazed and I mean that in the good way. She has always been calm and cool."
"She is one of the most engaged students that I have ever had in school. She is an active listener and always participates in class ... she is kind and compassionate at all times and her presence makes McCann a better place."
"She is every teacher's dream student. She is conscientious, bright, diligent, kind and caring."
Brosnon said Harrington actually works for the school and has spent summers, vacations, and evenings improving the school's computers and network.
He said she was part of the massive undertaking of creating a master spreadsheet that lists all of the school's more than 500 computers. She also helped build a maintenance schedule for these computers.
"Creating that kind of thing is indicative of what you are all about because you saw that issue, you knew how it could be best done, you grappled it, came up with a solution and implemented it," he said. "That is part of leadership and confidence so as you work through life, you have already accomplished more than most of us would in a lifetime."
School Committee Chairman Gary Rivers also congratulated Harrington and her family.
"As a former teacher myself, the one phrase that stood out for me was a pleasure to have in class," the former McCann principal said. "When a teacher says that they are thinking about the personality she brings to class, the leadership, and everything above and beyond her academic ability which she certainly has."
Before closing, Brosnon congratulated Kratz who was appointed to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Committee as a Massachusetts representative.
"He was selected and appointed by his colleagues and peers ... and it is something I certainly support," he said. "It is really quite an honor to be selected."
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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.
The volunteers have been crucial in making that happen, she said, and thanked them for rolling with the changes the organization has implemented — some of which have worked and some that have not.
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Mark Steele-Knudslien, 49, pleaded guilty on Thursday in Berkshire Superior Court to second-degree murder in the death of his wife. Judge John Agostini sentenced him to life in state prison, with parole eligibility in 25 years.
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After a few days in the icebox, temperatures will be turning above freezing going into the weekend and there's a chance of snow — or more likely rain, as a storm system moves north of the Berkshires.
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The Finance Committee took a tour of the building on Tuesday afternoon to get a better sense of the condition of the J. Stanley Sullivan Elementary School as the City Council has been weighing an offer on the property made more than two months ago.
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