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Katie Booth was presented with the Superintendent's Award on Tuesday.

Drury Senior Katie Booth Presented with Superintendent's Award

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Principal Timothy Callahan, bottom right, speaks at Tuesday's meeting. To his left are Eric and Laurie Booth; Katie Booth is above at right. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — This year's presentation of the Superintendent's Award had to be made at a distance but School Committee was still able to applaud over Zoom the academic efforts of senior Katie Booth.
 
"I think especially in these times to have a student who is still excelling and still meeting responsibilities, even during the pandemic, it really speaks to your work ethic and your commitment to your overall career development so I'm very honored to present you with this award from the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents," said Superintendent Barbara Malkas at Tuesday's meeting.
 
Booth, daughter of Eric and Laurie Booth of Clarksburg, holds the highest grade-point average in her class and has taken 13 Advanced Placement courses, two dual enrollment courses through Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and a course through Berkshire Community College.
 
Malkas said she has demonstrated her strong academic stance and strong community involvement throughout high school and that she is known by her teachers as not only a student with an incredible work ethic and a desire to achieve, but also someone who genuinely loves learning and puts her all into her academic endeavors.
 
Her "World Geography" professor at BCC wrote in her letter of recommendation that "her enthusiasm for learning and ability to communicate were fundamental reasons for the high level of discussion in this course." And one of her teachers described as a someone who cares about people and who "exhibits a high sense of personal integrity and a vocation of service. She embraces diversity and she displays a high degree of cultural awareness."
 
Booth has been inducted into both the Nu Sigma and Pro Merito honor societies at Drury High School and has received several accolades at Student Recognition Night including the Sage College Book Award during her junior year. She excelled on the basketball court and softball field for Drury's varsity teams and played for club teams in the off-season. Her involvement in the Drury community includes her role as a class officer and as a member of Student Council, and she has served her community by volunteering with youth sports teams and participating in local cleanup days.
 
She hopes to attend Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore next fall and major in biology with an eye to completing the pre-med program. 
 
"It's really been an honor to get to know Katie," said Drury Principal Timothy Callahan, noting he was glad she had returned to the school after attending elsewhere for a short period. "She worked super hard, and I also can't say enough about her confidence, which is one of her defining characteristics. She's an extremely confident young woman and she knows how to be successful, but she also is extremely caring and compassionate and willing to lend in. So it's been wonderful to get to know Katie, and I'm so honored and thankful that we got the opportunity to have you a Drury."
 
Mayor Thomas Bernard, chairman of the School Committee, also congratulated Booth's parents, who were participating over Zoom.  
 
"I know that this has been a tough time for everybody and I know that nobody gets where they are without support, without family to sustain them," he said. "So I want to thank and congratulate you for supporting, Katie and her journey."
 
Booth thanked her parents as well for their support and her older sisters with science degrees for helping her. 
 
"Everyone at Drury has been a super huge help and definitely giving me the extra help I need," she said. "For staying with me during free periods and lunches and stuff to help me understand things I didn't get the first time, definitely making sure that everyone's on the same page."
 
Malkas noted that usually after this there are photos and a small reception that couldn't happen because of the pandemic but she hoped to be able to gather again as graduation season approaches. 
 
Callahan also announced the recipients of the John & Abigail Adams Scholarships based on their performances on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests. There are 19 so far although more may be added to the list.
 
They are Caleb Besaw, Katie Booth, Michael Boudreau, Raymond Cable, Thayne Carlo, Cristina Cassidy, Kevin Chen, Kacie Copeland, Justyn Cowell, Mackenzie Dobbert, Ryan Goodell, Nathan Haley, Alan Marceau, Meadow Mazza, Olivia Mazzacco, Jerome Mejia-Nascimento, Skylar Moresi, Emily Patenaude and Rachael Weber.

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Drury Graduate to Direct Horror Film in North Adams

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Drury High School graduate is hoping to bring his dream — or, more appropriately, his nightmare — to film life. 

The horror film "The Uncredited," written by Nick Burchard, will be filmed in North Adams this spring, pending fundraising and the COVID-19 pandemic. Burchard's Tiny Viking Productions is making the film in conjunction with Sancha Spiller and Kasey Rae of Skylah Productions of New York City.

"I grew up in the area, and I've always appreciated the historical places, in particular the Hoosac Tunnel, Mohawk Theater, and the old mills," Burchard said. "I think North Adams has a very unique setting, with the mountains surrounding the city and of course, all the steeples.

"The Uncredited" follows a young woman who appears in an independent film. While watching it, her friends notice something disturbing in the background of her scene. This leads to rumors and distrust in even the closest group of friends.
 
"My goal is to make great characters, and even though it's a spooky thriller the characters in it are just friends sitting down to watch a movie together," Burchard said. "They crack jokes, roast each other, and are all collectively trying to have a good time … but that juxtaposed with the realization that one of them might be hiding something is what creates the thriller edge to this. I think it's really fun."
 
Spiller added that the film does not rely on horror tropes such as jump scares. She said the screenplay is character-driven.
 
"It showcases our greatest fear of not knowing the people around us as well as we think," she said. "It makes us second guess who we trust and remember that just being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have horrifying consequences."
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