Friends and Neighbors: Community members’ achievements


Friday, May 04, 2018

Arianna Monds Burch, daughter of Cindy Burch and Darlene Monds, graduated summa cum laude from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston on May 21 with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics. Burch will continue at Wentworth to complete a degree in computer science. She is a graduate of Northampton High School.


Laura C. Freeman, a senior marketing major, received level three academic tutor certificationandan entrepreneurship award at Nichols College in Dudley.


Shane Schmid was inducted into the Mu Nu chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science national honor society, at Westfield State University. 


Mira Vance, grade 12, was named a distinguished scholar during the winter term at Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.


Students from the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School had three winning entries and one honorable mention in the Cool Science Art Contest held at the O’Leary Library Mezzanine of the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. Artwork is displayed on the Lowell bus system.

Jon Holt, grade 9, had a winning design with “Charge Into the Future.” His creation makes a pun on the word “charge” and illustrates an electric car recharging, while simultaneously implying that we are charging ahead into a brighter future.

Meghan Condon, grade 8, was a winner in the middle school category. Her artwork illustrates a Jane Goodall quote: “What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” She adds her own line to the quote: “Make a good difference FOR THE PLANET,” and illustrates dystopian environments as they might look like in the future if we do not take action to preserve our environment.

Robin Smither, grade 8, created a humorous mixed-media illustration of a cow snorkeling while eating kelp. Her artwork advocates including kelp in cattle feed to reduce their methane production.

Sophie Barber, grade 7, received an honorable mention. The artwork of these students can be viewed on the Cool Science Facebook page at https://facebook.com/coolsci/

The designs were created in classes taught by Lisa Winter, a teacher and artist whose work has been shown in the Pioneer Valley and New York.


Oscar Ayala-Cornejo, a senior majoring in criminal justice, was inducted into the Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society at Westfield State University in Westfield.

South Hadley

U.S. Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Colin S. Paleologopoulos graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Paleologopoulos is the son of Christopher and Mary Paleologopoulos and a 2016 graduate of South Hadley High School.


Kayla Labrecque was inducted into the Alpha Upsilon Chi honor society at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Connecticut, where she majors in physical education.