Adams-Cheshire Teacher Nominated for Outstanding Educator Award

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — MCLA alumna Lindsay St. Pierre-McGinnis M.Ed. '08 has been nominated for the 202 Outstanding Educator Award by the Massachusetts State University System at the Massachusetts State House on April 25.
St. Pierre-McGinnis joins eight other educators who will be recognized for their teaching excellence, especially in the face of challenging situations, as well as their contributions to the communities in which they live and work. 
St. Pierre-McGinnis received her Masters of Education at MCLA in 2008 and earned a second master's degree in conservation biology at Antioch University. Lindsay St. Pierre-McGinnis began her career as a conservation biologist and found her passion for teaching after becoming a Middle School Science/Math educator at Gabriel Abbott Memorial School, on a Florida Mountain.
During her time at Abbott, she designed an environmental/outdoor curriculum which included an outdoor classroom with raised garden beds and spearheaded the school's first soccer program. 
Currently, Lindsay shares her expertise and environmental activism with her students at Hoosac Valley Middle/High School in Cheshire, Massachusetts. She has helped lead the establishment of a DESE Innovation Pathway Designation in environmental studies, designing curriculum in outdoor leadership, conservation stewardship, food science, and outdoor adventure. She continues to work with MCLA, partnering with the Environmental Studies Department to offer her students college credit for her environmental sustainability course. She has teamed up with colleagues and was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Henry P. Kendall Foundation to establish a sustainable garden program for the high school. MCLA and her community are proud of her work as an educational and environmental leader and honored that she received the MCLA Educator Alumni Award last year.  
In 1839, Massachusetts became the first state to recognize the importance of teacher preparation programs with the establishment of normal schools that were free of charge to students who committed to teaching in the Commonwealth's schools. These institutions that were designed specifically to educate school teachers have grown to become comprehensive state universities. Today, nine-member institutions educate students in multiple disciplines beyond education from business, humanities, and social sciences, to natural, formal, and applied sciences. Even with this expanded mission, the State Universities continue to educate over one-third of public school teachers in Massachusetts. 
The nine-campus Massachusetts State University System comprises 4-year, baccalaureate, and master's degree-granting teaching universities.  They include six comprehensive institutions that combine a liberal arts education with professional development training, which include Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Salem State University, Westfield State University, Worcester State University, and three specialized institutions, including the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay.

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North Adams High School Athletes Place Flags on Veterans Graves

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Raegan Keil, daughter of VSO Mitchell Keil, participates in placing the American Flag on veterans' graves. The first flag she placed was in the marker of Michael Kline, her grandfather.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Athletes from Drury High School and McCann Technical School gave up the rare free Saturday morning to place flags on veterans graves in Southview Cemetery.
"I was very humbled when I saw the cars coming in, and I actually had to go over to the corner and put my sunglasses down and hide my tears, because it was very, very humbling to see everybody show up," said Travys Rivers, the city's veterans grave officer.
Rivers, a firefighter and veteran, said he sent out the "bat signal" and called John Moore of Drury and Robin Finnegan of McCann to see if any of the sports teams were free.
River said he was unsure what to expect, knowing many student athletes likely had games or practice. But come Saturday morning, around 100 students showed up with coaches and high school athletics administration. 
"I am amazed by these kids. They gave up a Saturday morning. They could have slept in if they didn't have practice or whatever," Rivers said. "They did not have to do this but instead came down and busted their butts."
Northern Berkshire Veterans Service Officer Mitchell Keil added that he often hears that the youth do not participate in civic activities. He said Saturday proves the opposite.
"As a veteran, it is heartwarming to see this type of participation from today's youth and encouraging for the future of the community. They may not understand the impact their involvement has on those that see them in action or those family members that visit a departed loved one's grave and see them continuously honored," he said. "Our city has a large group of individuals that are dedicated to honoring those veterans that have passed. This long tradition is in good hands, and as we move forward I encourage all to take part in the pursuit of honoring our veterans daily."
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