Everyone has had at one time that special teacher you thought was the best, for me, it is my sister Laura who has been a teacher for so many years and I can't forget my art teacher Mr. Magenta, a great name for an art teacher.

In North Adams, one teacher has been awarded teacher of the year. This award is presented each year to the educator who exemplifies the ideal teacher through their dedication, skills and understanding of children. The award is given in honor of Kelley, a teacher who retired as principal of Johnson and Sarah T. Haskins schools.

And this year's award was special education teacher Michelle Darling was surprised at last week's Drury High School graduation with the Marion B. Kelley Teacher of the Year Award.

Darling was called to the stage in the Drury auditorium to a thunder of applause by Superintendent Barbara Malkas to be presented with a commemorative plaque and a gift certificate for $100 for school classroom supplies.FYI, a lot of teachers use their own money to buy supplies for their classroom so that $100 dollars really comes in handy for a teacher.

The current co-president of the North Adams Teachers Association was selected for having "gone above and beyond this year," Malkas read, pointing to how Darling had given up her summer vacation last year to help plan the safe return to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iberkshires.com reports that Malkas read from a peer who nominated Darling.

"She has tirelessly answered questions from her colleagues across the district, not just at Drury, to make sure everyone's voice was heard and represented and she does this solely out of the kindness of her own heart and because she wants to make sure our teachers are safe, earning teacher of the year would be the best way to show her our appreciation and to say thank you for working so hard for her students and colleagues as her dedication to the North Adams Public School community does not go unnoticed."

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