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Gold Medalist Shiffrin Tells Youngsters to Have Ambition, Perseverance
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:42PM / Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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Shiffrin was in town to visit her grandmother after winning a seventh career World Cup title.  LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — You could have watched hours of coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics and not gotten an answer to the kind of hard-hitting question asked by Lanesborough Elementary School pupils on Monday afternoon.   "Why do the athletes bite their gold medals?" two-time gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin was asked by one of the youngsters during a schoolwide assembly.   "I don't know," the downhill skier replied. "Isn't that strange? It's not a cookie. Maybe it's to see if it's real gold.   "It

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CBS News' Schieffer Speaking at Williams' 229th Commencement
02:40PM / Monday, March 26, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Bob Schieffer, former CBS News reporter and award-winning journalist, will be the principal speaker at Williams College's 229th commencement exercise on Sunday, June 3.    The day before, Janet Murguía, civil rights activist and president and CEO of UnidosUS, will be the baccalaureate speaker. Both will receive honorary degrees at commencement, as will pediatrician and public health advocate Mona Hanna-Attisha and novelist and screenwriter John Irving.     Schieffer has been a reporter for more than half a century. Before his retirement in 2015, Schieffer spent 46 years at CBS News, where he anchored the Saturday edition of the CBS

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Williamstown Elementary Sixth-Graders Win Berkshire Robotics Challenge
05:23PM / Saturday, March 24, 2018
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LENOX, Mass. — A team of sixth-graders from Williamstown Elementary School won the 19th annual Berkshire Robotics Challenge at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School on Saturday.

Noelle Dravis, Julia Goh and Grace Winters took turns guiding the team’s Lego robot through seven rounds of competition, capped by a dramatic 110-100 win in the finals over the runner-up from the Berkshire Christian Homeschool group.

Lila Cohen-McFall, Emma Kate Hane and Emma Swoap also participated on the winning team, dubbed WES LegoHeads II, which finished the early rounds of the 17-team competition seeded third among eight squads who moved on to the single-elimination finals.

The contest,

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Williams Senior Named Watson Fellow
01:44PM / Friday, March 23, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College senior Rob Hefferon has been named a Thomas J. Watson Fellow for 2017-18. Winners of the fellowship receive a stipend of $30,000 for 12 months of independent study and travel outside of the United States.

Hefferon joins 39 other students selected as Watson Fellows from among 152 finalists nominated to compete on the national level. The fellows, who hail from eight countries and 17 states and are selected from private liberal arts colleges and universities, will travel the world exploring a diverse range of topics and disciplines.

Hefferon, a Spanish and political science major from McLean, Va., will use his fellowship to pursue a project

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MCLA President Appointed to Two Local Boards of Directors
01:12PM / Friday, March 23, 2018
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James F. Birge has been appointed to the 1Berkshire Board of Directors and the Lever Board of Directors.

His participation on these two boards augments the college's outreach to the greater community as MCLA continues to maintain and expand vital connections throughout the Berkshires.

Birge said he is delighted to join the 1Berkshire and Lever boards as they, along with MCLA, work to elevate economic growth all over the region.

"I look forward to working with 1Berkshire and Lever to gain further insight on how we might best prepare our students to fill positions across the Berkshires," he said.

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New Ashford School Committee Endorses Compromise School Tuition Plan
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:00AM / Friday, March 23, 2018
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NEW ASHFORD, Mass. — The School Committee on Thursday morning voted 2-1 to accept a three-year phased-in tuition agreement for elementary school pupils negotiated with representatives from the Mount Greylock Regional School District.   Superintendent Peter Dillon and School Committee Chairwoman Brenda Frye reported that they negotiated Wednesday morning with Mount Greylock interim Superintendent Kimberley Grady and Transition Committee member Chris Dodig to find a compromise that will meet the district's aim of raising tuition to match the per-pupil rate for Lanesborough Elementary School as published by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.   As agreed

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Lanesborough Elementary Class Size Leads to Broader Funding Discussion
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:23AM / Thursday, March 22, 2018
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  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A question about the size of a single classroom at Lanesborough Elementary School led to a big-picture discussion about school funding at Tuesday's Mount Greylock Transition Committee meeting.   And it highlighted one of the challenges the district is likely to face as it implements an elementary school funding approach that paved the way for passing full regionalization in November.   At issue was next year's fourth grade at the PreK-6 school, one of three in the recently expanded district.   Fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Szymanski and third-grade teacher Anna Mello each urged the Transition Committee to find a way to

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Grady, Taconic's Vosburgh Named Finalists for Mount Greylock Superintendent
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, March 21, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District Transition Committee on Tuesday voted to interview interim Superintendent Kimberley Grady and Taconic Principal John Vosburgh for the permanent superintendent post.   The committee, an amalgam of the three elected school committees at Mount Greylock, Lanesborough Elementary and Williamstown Elementary, was presented two candidates by its Search Committee, which reviewed five applicants for the post.   On Tuesday, Search Committee Chairman Steven Miller told the full Transition Committee he had notified the two finalists and received confirmation from each that he and she would like to continue in the

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Mount Greylock Committee Opts to Keep Negotiating on Tuition
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:36AM / Monday, March 19, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Transition Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to continue negotiations with the town of New Ashford about the tuition rate at Lanesborough Elementary School.   But at least one member of the committee sounded a cautious note about going too far without buy-in from town officials in the district's member towns.   New Ashford officially was notified by the district in September of a spring vote by the Lanesborough School Committee to institute a policy aligning tuition rates with the per pupil cost of a school's education as calculated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.   The Transition

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New Member Joins MCLA Board of Trustees
02:25PM / Friday, March 16, 2018
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Brenda Burdick, senior manager of marketing and public relations at General Dynamics Mission Systems in Pittsfield, as been named the newest member of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Board of Trustees.

MCLA President James F. Birge said he is pleased to welcome Burdick to the board.

"Brenda Burdick brings more than 25 years of experience in business communications and marketing – as well as public, community, and government relations – to MCLA's Board of Trustees," Birge said. "Through her extensive community service throughout the Berkshires, which includes her work with the Berkshire Compact for Education and as a

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