College Club awards

College Club honored five educators, recipients of the club's annual Education Award Program, at its recent spring luncheon. Pictured, left to right, seated: Jessica Hudnall, Lee Middle & High School; Britt Buckenroth, New Lebanon Junior/Senior High School; and Joanne Nelson-Unczur, Lee Middle and High School. Back row: Marsha McDermott, incoming club president; Principal Joseph Rogge, St. Stanislaus Kostka School; Maryann Sherman, awards chairwoman; David Lennon, Nessacus Regional Middle School; and Julie Pelletier, club president.

PITTSFIELD — College Club members enjoyed more than a spring lunch on April 23 at the Country Club of Pittsfield. They were entranced, listening to five educators describe how the grants awarded to them have brightened this school year.

The College Club’s Educational Awards Program provides funds for a special project conceived by a teacher for the benefit of their students. Middle and high school principals in Berkshire and Columbia counties receive applications at the beginning of the school year, asking teachers to submit projects of their dreams.

Educators chosen to receive award money for their dream projects during the 2021-2022 school year are as follows:

Joseph Rogge, principal of St. Stanislaus Kotska School in Adams, shared pictures of history books and the creation of a middle school library classroom thanks to College Club funds. It has become a station for middle school social studies and focuses on World Wars I and II. Rogge is open to new contributions of books toward this endeavor.

Britt Buckenroth, a teacher at New Lebanon Junior/Senior High School in New Lebanon, N.Y., was awarded College Club grant money to purchase items such as magnets and buttons designed to support kindness, diversity, equity, and more, while increasing school spirit and joy after a year spent mostly on Google meets.

Jessica Hudnall, from Lee Middle and High School, was granted College Club funds for the purchase of several books used toward a project she created on Dystopian studies. This project focuses on social, economic and political change that offers student guidance toward creating a better society in a creative and inventive way.

David Lennon, from Nessacus Regional Middle School in Dalton, used College Club funds to purchase equipment which helped revive the school’s TV studios allowing students to take on various engineering projects, both hands-on and computer-based.

Joanne Nelson-Unczur, teacher of music and band at Lee Middle and High School, used the College Club funds to purchase copies of the book “When I Close My Eyes” by local author Ty Allan Jackson. Copies of this book were distributed to classrooms of diverse grades as a focal point for composing music to it. A video presentation was presented as a culminating experience of music and literature combined.

College Club was founded by Ruth Mills in 1915 — before women could vote — to encourage women to become educated. Today the Club thrives for women who have completed at least two years of accredited college courses, to enhance their lives with activities such as book clubs, social gatherings and day trips.

For College Club membership information, contact Jean Stanford at 413-443-4837.

Jeannie Maschino can be reached at 413-496-6256 or

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.