BArT Charter School Announced New Principal

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ADAMS, Mass. — Dr. Joe Huston will begin as Principal of Berkshire Arts and Technology (BArT) on July 8, 2024.

According to a press release, Huston is an experienced organizational leader, educator, and professional facilitator. He began his career as a math teacher in the Orange County Public Schools in Florida. He then served as an Instructional Leader, Instructor, Director of Academic Success, and as Dean at Seminole State College where he worked for over 17 years. Most recently, Huston has served as a member of the Mathematics Faculty at Seminole County Public Schools and part-time faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education at the University of Central Florida.

"I am thrilled to be joining BART as its new Principal. During my visit, I was incredibly impressed by the creativity and dedication of the faculty, who go above and beyond to ensure their students' success," Huston said. "The engaging classroom environments, unique programming, and student work displayed throughout the school speak volumes about the commitment to excellence. The energy and enthusiasm of the students were invigorating, and the supportive atmosphere is a testament to the strong community spirit at BArT."

Joe Huston further explained his enthusiasm for the Principal position.

"The school's focus on college preparation through rigorous academics and immersive experiences is truly inspiring. I look forward to working with the faculty to further develop engaging academic and co-curricular programs that prepare our students to be successful now and in the future," he said. "BArT has tremendous potential to serve as a model for secondary education, and I am eager to contribute to its continued growth and success."

Huston champions diversity and equity in his application.

"As an instructor and leader within both the K12 and collegiate environments, I have always strived to ensure that equity in access, opportunity, and quality are primary focal points for myself and for my teams," he said.

The Search Committee was impressed with Huston's research and knowledge of BArT, his background in data-driven instruction, and his experience bringing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to schools. Teachers, students, and parents who offered feedback after his interview commented on his knowledge of BArT, his emphasis on collaboration, his sincerity, and his enthusiasm for BArT and the Berkshires, stated a press release.

The Search Committee worked with Interim Executive Director Jonathan Igoe over five months. The Committee included eight members of the BArT Faculty and Staff. They created a process that was equitable and thorough, evaluating candidates in a variety of settings including interviews with teachers and students and a community presentation.

Throughout the year, Interim Principal Bouchard has shown dedication to students and support for the adults in this building, stated a press release.


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United Counseling Service Wins Wellness Award

BENNINGTON, Vt. — United Counseling Service is a winner of the 2024 Vermont Governor's Excellence in Worksite Wellness Gold Level Award, presented by the Vermont Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health. 
This award is presented each year to organizations across the state that make employee wellness a priority.
The UCS Worksite Wellness Committee engaged staff in several worksite wellness initiatives this year, including a Community Supported Agriculture program in partnership with Full Well Farm in Adams, Mass., chair massages for staff, a potluck soup event for staff, quarterly lunches at rotating office locations, and facilitating ergonomic updates for workspaces following recent ergonomic assessments.
"We are honored to receive the Excellence in Worksite Wellness Gold Level Award," said Amy Fela, director of operations and co-chair of the Wellness Committee. "This achievement highlights our ongoing dedication to creating a supportive and healthy work environment."
UCS is a private, non-profit community mental health center that has been a part of Bennington County's integrated health-care system since 1958. The organization has been designated as a Center of Excellence by Vermont Care Partners.
Learn more about the Department of Health's Worksite Wellness Awards here. Learn more about United Counseling Service here.
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