NORTH ADAMS, Mass.— The post-secondary graduates at McCann Technical School took the next step toward their chosen career paths during Wednesday's graduation ceremony.
This was with recognition from the Medical Assisting Program graduates who thanked instructor Terry LeClair for waiting for them.
"How do we say thank you to a woman who waited for us. Her last class," graduate Laura Blanchard said. "With compassion, caring, and a tough attitude ... We are here and so thankful for what you did for us. I am so thankful that we were your last class. You have given us careers and the second part of our lives."
Superintendent James Brosnan said toward the beginning of the ceremony that LeClair is retiring after 20 years in the program
School Committee Chairman Gary Rivers said LeClair elevated the program. She has touched medical facilities throughout the region and former students can be found in just about any area hospital, he said.
"I know how hard she worked and how dedicated she was, and the hours she put into this program to make it fantastic," Rivers said.
The ceremony was held on the front lawn of the school. It typically would be held in the gymnasium, however, it has been a different kind of year, Rivers said.
"Needless to say, this school year has been extremely difficult for everyone. You were asked to adapt to new learning systems and teaching techniques never used throughout the course of educational history," he said. "But there are some benefits from all of this you have been you've had a personal preview of the future world of work."
He added the path of a post-secondary student isn't always easy and commended them for their grit and hard work.
"You have stayed the course, successfully navigating all the twists and turns along your journey no matter how bad the roads and accommodations may have been," he said. "I am not surprised that you are sitting here tonight. You have overcome the many challenges, the difficulty of the material, being a parent, a spouse, and late hours of studying. but because of your drive and determination, you are successful.
Brosnan echoed this statement and said this is all more impressive given the pandemic.
"This evening marks the culmination of a unique class gathered to my right," he said. "They spent their time here for one year following the COVID standards and protocols. We as civilians lived through it and adjusted, but they had to take that extra step."
Berkshire District Dental Assistant's Association Scholarship was presented to Cassandra Boucher and the Linda L. Walker Scholarship was given to Arielle Poirot, also in the Dental Assisting Program. The Jamie Sacchetti Drennan Memorial Scholarship was presented to Stormie Carmody, a graduate of the Surgical Technology Program.
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COVID Outbreak Hits North Adams Nursing Home; Health Officials Urge Vaccination
By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Health officials are trying to determine if a significant outbreak of COVID-19 at a local nursing home is the highly transmissible Delta variant.
North Adams Commons reported three vaccinated residents with infections as of Friday morning. The total is now 20 residents and two staff members, said Lisa Gaudet, a spokesperson for Berkshire Healthcare that operates the nursing home. Only one of those is unvaccinated, she said.
The 119-bed skilled nursing facility is now closed to visitors and new admissions as health officials track down the source of the infection and determine if it's a variant. Gaudet said all residents and staff were being tested so the numbers may change.
"Clearly we're hearing in the national and local news about variants that are creating these breakthrough cases," Gaudet said. "We benefited from this vaccination when we saw all of our infections go down ... So this is something that is obviously concerning to us."
The email is signed by Berkshire Health System's Dr. James W. Lederer, chief medical officer, who on Thursday stressed to iBerkshires that anyone who had not been vaccinated should do so immediately.
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Executive Director Jennifer Hohn asked the commissioners Monday to consider the actions out of an abundance of caution in light of the recent condominium collapse in the state of Florida.
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Several pedestrian rights of way had been painted in by volunteers with the group Art About Town a decade ago but the project was dropped over concerns about crossing the state Department of Transportation
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The plan for two zoning overlay districts in the downtown under the state's 40R zoning was submitted in March after a public hearing late last year. The letter from the Department of Housing and Community Development was received June 28.
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