Finger-pointing at Mount

Tuesday, April 08
We learn from The New York Times that former Mount president and CEO Stephanie Copeland believes that the board of trustees, by not coming up with the funding to fulfill the vision they signed onto, failed to meet its responsibilities (Ms. Copeland is evidently not speaking to The Eagle.) There is certainly plenty of blame to go around for the Mount's default of a $4.3 million mortgage to Berkshire Bank, which has given the organization until April 24 to raise $3 million to avoid foreclosure, and its other debts, but Ms. Copeland's argument that the board's job was to, in essence, "stop me before I spend again" rings hollow coming from the person who was the Mount's top executive. Ms. Copeland's admirable legacy in bringing the home and gardens of Edith Wharton back to life is at stake along with the Mount, and even though she has resigned, it remains in her interest to do what she can in a positive way to help the Edith Wharton Restoration raise the needed capital to remain afloat.

Exploring longer school day
Kudos to Berkshire Trail Elementary school in Cummington for exploring the possibility of a longer day with a $7,000 grant from the state Department of Education and assistance from Massachusetts 20/20. A longer school day would enable teachers and students to keep up with the increasing demands put upon them, largely because of MCAS. The Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter School in North Adams is the only public school in the Berkshires to add time to the school day, which is a major recruitment tool, and as Berkshire Trail Principal Laura Dumouchel observes, a longer day could similarly help the small school attract students from elsewhere in Western Massachusetts.


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