Around the Hamptons: EHS students to host Black heroes panel


Staff Writer

Published: 02-14-2023 1:20 PM

EASTHAMPTON — City high school students have stepped up to help the community celebrate National Black History Month.

Easthampton High School Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Sindy Mojica has been working with students on how to celebrate the contributions, work and resistance of the status quo of Black leaders.

As such, students have organized a Black heroes panel on Friday, Feb. 17. The panel features state Rep. Bud Williams, D-Springfield; Easthampton High alum Kirdeyjah Fraser, who works at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a London-based professional services firm; Easthampton High alum Kenny Lumpkin, owner of Dewey’s Jazz Lounge; President and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care Lynette Watkins; Renika Montgomery-Tamakloe, a consultant within the epidemiology and life sciences industry; and Easthampton Police Officer Quintin Jeffers.

The panel will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the City Council chambers at 50 Payson Ave. Light refreshments will also be served.

Mayor Nicole LaChapelle said that the student leadership collaborating with her office gave the city’s celebration a “fresh and authentic point of view.”

At the start of the month, the city also raised the Pan-African flag in recognition of Black History Month.

Westhampton to host CPR demo

WESTHAMPTON — American Heart Association-certified Westhampton instructors Charleen Diggins and John Shaw will demonstrate how to perform CPR, and assisting bystanders in practicing chest compression at the new Westhampton Public Safety Complex, 48 Stage Road, on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Participants at the free instruction will learn how to recognize cardiac arrest and proper methods for adult chest compressions.

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The majority of CPR performed by bystanders are on loved ones, according to Shaw.

“Statistics have proven that bystander early recognition of cardiac arrest and starting immediate chest compressions greatly increases survival rates for the patient,” he said.

CitySpace welcomes new leadership

EASTHAMPTON — Easthampton’s CitySpace has added to its executive team with the addition of Nikki Beck as the board’s vice president and Peggy Twardowski as clerk.

Beck has been a member of the board since 2017. A native of Alaska, Beck moved to Easthampton in 2014. She is currently the production manager for Smith College’s Theatre Department and also works as a stage manager for the Academy of Music in Northampton. Since 2015, Beck has also been sending out the Pioneer Valley Theatre News, a weekly newsletter of theatrical local theatrical events.

Twardowski is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and has lived in the Valley for more than 30 years. She currently lives in Easthampton and has been on the board since the end of 2021.

She currently serves as the business information director of Northampton-based Digital Development Management, which provides investment advice, consulting, representation, and publishing services to the video games industry. There, she oversees research and data services.

Using her experience from top grossing video game crowdfunding campaigns, she has sought ways to promote the arts in the region. In the past, she has organized the Paint & Pixel Festival, a small press exhibition for regional children’s book illustrators, comic book artists and web comic creators.

Burns Maxey, president of CitySpace, said in a statement. that Beck and Twardowski are starting these positions at a crucial time for the organization as it expands programming and restores the Old Town Hall.

City teen takes flight with Civil Air Patrol

An Easthampton teenager took his first Civil Air Patrol orientation flight in January to New London, Connecticut.

Fifteen-year-old Cadet Roman Powers-Moran flew alongside fellow cadet Jacob Kraiem, 16, of Chicopee, as a part of the Civil Air Patrol’s hands-on aerospace education program. Both are members of the Brigadier General Pierce Cadet Squadron, Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Amherst.

The Civil Air Patrol is the civilian, volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and one of its main missions is to encourage and foster civil aviation in community aerospace education programs.

During the flights, more commonly known as “O-Flights,” cadets take the controls, but an experienced pilot remain in command at all times. Critical moments such as takeoffs and landings will be handled by the pilot.

Before any cadet leaves the ground they perform a pre-flight inspection of the red, white, and blue Cessna 172 and Cessna 182 aircraft. Working with CAP pilots, Col. Tim Nelson of South Hadley and Lt. Robert Riddles of Holyoke, they followed a detailed checklist inspecting various components of the aircraft, from its electronic instrumentation to its fuel and oil.

City fundraiser surpasses $13K in less than a week

EASTHAMPTON — Since securing their seventh state championship at the We the People: The Citizen and Constitution State Finals at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate in Boston, Easthampton High School’s civics class has begun raising money for their trip to the national competition in Washington, D.C. through several events.

Among those events was an online fundraiser through GoFundMe, which raised more than $13,000 in less than four days. Since the trip costs approximately $1,500 per student, history and government teacher Kelley Brown says this year’s goal is $50,000.

Those wishing to donate can make checks payable to Easthampton High School and send them to: Easthampton High School, c/o Kelley Brown, We The People, 70 Williston Ave., Easthampton, MA 01027.

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ]]>