By Stephen Dravis
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As nearly 300 residents gathered Tuesday evening to do their civic duty, they heard about three individuals who have gone above and beyond for the community.
Kelly Galusha, Linda Conway and David Rempell each were singled out at the annual town meeting for their efforts to make Williamstown a better place.
Conway received the town’s highest honor for volunteerism, the Scarborough Salomon Flynt Community Service Award.
The committee that awards the honor each May recognized Conway’s efforts on behalf of the Berkshire Chapter of Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, the Williamstown Community Chest, the Milne Public Library and its Friends Group and the Williamstown Historical Museum. In town government, Conway is a member of the town’s Historical Commission and has held that body’s seat on the Community Preservation Committee.
“You bring to each of these positions grace, diplomacy and commitment, all of which are invaluable, especially when faced with unexpected challenges,” the committee wrote.
She showed a little of that grace in accepting the award from Town Moderator Adam Filson on Tuesday evening — turning the focus to all the volunteers she has encountered in Williamstown.
“It certainly is an honor to have this award,” Conway said. “The friendship of the Flynts and the Salomons has been very important to me.
“The main point of this award I feel is to recognize volunteerism, and there is no town where volunteerism makes more of a difference than Williamstown. I think we have more dedicated and talented volunteers per square block than any community in the United States.
“And it has been a pleasure for me to work together with all of you.”
A former and a current employee of Williamstown Elementary School also were recognized on Tuesday evening.
Kelly Galusha, a paraprofessional in the fifth grade, received the Town Employee Award from the local chapter of the League of Women Voters.
“This year’s recipient … had a large number of nominations testifying to her wide impact,” League President Anne Skinner said. “She goes beyond her nominal responsibilities to care for many others.
“It is my pleasure to present this award to Kelly Galusha of Williamstown Elementary School, with thanks for her patience, her imaginative additions to the classroom and the happiness expressed by her fifth-grade students in their letters of support.”
the school’s former principal and the current executive director of the Williamstown Youth Center, David Rempell, also was recognized at the meeting.
The former member of the Board of Selectmen has announced his intention to retire in June from the youth center and, shortly after the town overwhelmingly approved the town’s annual monetary contribution to the WYC, Filson read a brief statement honoring Rempell’s service to the town.
“During his tenure [at the youth center], he was instrumental in spearheading the fundraising campaign that led us to the wonderful, state-of-the-art building the Youth Center now occupies,” Filson read. “His untiring energy has ensured quality programming and a safe, stable and welcoming environment for all families.
“Although David will be missed, his legacy of leadership, positive influence and boundless energy will carry the organization forward to continued success.”