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Hugo Faria and Amanda Giracca

Literacy Network Adds to its Board of Directors, Brings on Staff Member

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Sarah Boyd and Lisa Cavender
LEE, Mass. — Literacy Network (LitNet) welcomes three new members to its Board of Directors and announces the expansion of the role of one of its existing employees.
Sarah Boyd returns to the LitNet Board following a mandatory one-year hiatus after completing a ten-year term in 2022. Boyd has been a tutor with LitNet for 20 years, working with adult learners on basic reading skills. She serves on LitNet's Education and Development Committees. Boyd taught elementary school from 1968-1973 and was the Director of a preschool in Stockbridge from 1981-1991. She later worked as an Administrative Assistant for Boyd Converting (now Boyd BioMedical) and has served on the Boards of Berkshire Botanical Garden and Laurel Hill Association as well as on committees for the Stockbridge Golf Club and the Lenox Garden Club.
Lisa Cavender, returning to the LitNet board after having previously served a ten-year term from 2010-2020, is the principal designer for LNDESIGN, a graphic design company creating professional communications for a variety of channels. She serves on LitNet's Development Committee and is a committee member for Community Access to the Arts. She has a Master's degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts: The Interactive Telecommunications Program and a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in photography from San Francisco State University.
Hugo Faria joins the LitNet board for the first time. He is the Education Advising Director at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, leading the development and implementation of a comprehensive advising system for Education Department undergraduate and graduate students. Faria is dedicated to improving college access and post-college success for under-represented students. He has worked at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity as the Vice President, responsible for their top-of-class college program, and later became SEO's first Chief Operating Officer. At Autentike Advisors, Faria works on higher education access-success projects. Previously, Faria worked for three decades in finance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Certificate in Higher Education Leadership and Administration from UMass Amherst, where he is currently enrolled in the Master of Education program. He serves on LitNet's Education Committee.
In addition, LitNet announces the expansion of the role of staff member Amanda Giracca. Giracca joined the LitNet team in 2020 and most recently served as the organization's Grants and Communications Coordinator. She joins the staff full-time with the additional role of New Programs Coordinator. Previously, Giracca was a writing professor at the State University of New York at Albany and at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received her Master of Fine Arts degree in writing in 2013. She also holds a Master of English degree from Northern Michigan University and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing from Prescott College in Arizona.
"I'm delighted to be working with such a strong and dedicated team as we foster LtiNet into its thirty-third year of serving the Berkshire Community," said LitNet Executive Director Leigh Doherty. "We're always seeking to strengthen LitNet by adding new board members with different experiences. At the same time, I deeply appreciate the long-term commitment of returning board members who have fostered LitNet through its many iterations and have a depth of knowledge about the organization's past. This year is looking to be a big one for LitNet as we seek to expand our offerings; our mission is to ‘transform lives,' and we're finding creative ways to reach adults in our community who are seeking to become fluent, literate, college-bound, or better employed. I'm excited to see what the formidable LitNet staff and board will accomplish this year."
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Lee Awarded Technical Grant For Upland Disposal Facility

LEE, Mass. — The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that $160,000 in grants have been awarded to four municipalities and four community groups as part of the Technical Assistance Grant Program. 
The Technical Assistance Grant Program, administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), provides funding to enhance citizen participation in assessment and cleanup activities at waste disposal sites in local communities. Awards may be used to obtain expert assistance, increase public participation, and provide public education regarding site cleanup.
"Waste site cleanup projects and environmental mitigation often come with complex plans that communities want to fully understand," said MassDEP Commissioner Bonnie Heiple. "We're pleased to make this resource available to inform and empower municipal officials and citizen groups to meaningfully participate in local assessment and cleanup efforts."
Lee was awarded a $20,000 grant to engage technical expertise to review and interpret information about the Upland Disposal Facility, an area permitted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for storage of contaminated sediments from the Housatonic River Superfund Site, to provide technical assistance to local officials and outreach to citizens. Contaminants of concern include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), potentially affecting the aquifer.
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