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News of Otsego County

Education

Colleges preparing to avoid repeat of August 2020 outbreak

Colleges preparing to avoid repeat of August 2020 outbreak

By Kevin Limiti • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA — In light of the disastrous SUNY Oneonta outbreak of COVID at the start of the fall 2020 semester, both local colleges are increasing measures to avoid a repeat this month.

SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College told AllOtsego this week that various restrictions to ensure the safety of both the students and the community will be in place as students move in and go through the fall 2021 semester.

Richard Lee, provost and vice-president for Academic Affairs at SUNY Oneonta, as well as the co-chair of the COVID response team, said the school is constantly learning and adapting to the situation with COVID.

“We have to be more adaptable,” Lee said, in order to “make sure that we can commit to students.”
Some of the restrictions include masking being required in all buildings, including classrooms and labs, as well as all students being required to be pre-screened before arriving on campus. Students have to be approved with a green check mark before they can enter campus.

“Although we can’t predict the future, we’ve learned from the past,” Lee said. “I don’t think anyone wants to be masked but I think it’s a small price for us being together. Of course, nobody is thrilled about it.”

Schools prepare for delta variant

Schools prepare for delta variant

By Kevin Limiti • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

With the delta variant of the coronavirus virus causing jumps in cases across the county and the country, some Otsego County school districts are gearing up to welcome kids back to classes with masks on.
This is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, which has labeled Otsego County as a “substantial transmission” area where, in theory, masks are recommended indoors regardless of vaccination status. COVID cases have been on the rise across the country.

In Otsego County, as of Aug. 9, there were 72 active cases and four hospitalizations.

In Cooperstown Central Schools, while instruction will be in person, there will be a universal indoor mask policy as well as three-foot social distancing while maintaining cleaning and disinfecting at the schools.

Alum, SUNY Oneonta grad take CCS jobs
Shirley Tyler and Karl O’Leary have been hired as Cooperstown’s director of athletics/extracurricular activities and high school principal, respectively. (Greg Klein/AllOtsego.com)

Alum, SUNY Oneonta
grad take CCS jobs

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Cooperstown Central School has new leadership in its middle/high school again.

The school’s Board of Education has made two hires in the past month, picking Karl O’Leary as the new
principal and Shirley Tyler as the new coordinator of athletics and extra-curricular activities.

O’Leary started his career as an English teacher and served as principal of Moravia Central School for two years and most recently as assistant high school principal at Middle Country Central School on Long Island. He graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2002 and then got advanced degrees from SUNY Cortland and University of New England.

New joy in Mudville

Editorial

New joy in Mudville

There seems to be a general feeling in this country these days that getting things done and making a difference is an impossible thing. When the United States Congress itself seems unable to get anything done, what chance do small groups or ordinary citizens have to make a difference? The odds are so stacked against that happening that most people wouldn’t even think of wasting their time trying.

But sometimes even legislative accomplishments come from the darndest places.

In 2017, Cooperstown Elementary School teacher Anne Reis was leading her fourth-grade class through a study of state government in New York. During a section on state symbols, the kids learned New York had no official state sport. They concluded there should be one and it should be baseball.

Reis inspired her young charges to dream big and take action and they got to work researching baseball’s influence in and on New York’s history, economy and culture. They wrote essays on the sport’s numerous qualifications for official designation, and they sent them all to Albany.

Coop alum, Schaeffer, releases book about school lunch

Coop alum, Schaeffer,
releases book about school lunch

By Chad G. Welch • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Schaeffer

Cooperstown Central School 1994 graduate Lucy Schaeffer’s first book, “School Lunch-Unpacking Our Shared Stories,” released Tuesday, Aug. 3.

The book pairs Schaeffer’s photographs with 70 different lunch stories “from people age six to 93; hailing from 25 different countries and all across the United States,” Schaeffer said in the book’s introduction.

Schaeffer’s subjects include family members, friends, celebrities and strangers. Schaeffer said all of the stories are written in first-person narrative to highlight the storytellers’ voices over her own.

Although it is the first book as author for Schaeffer, she said her photographs have appeared in more than 50 books and cookbooks.

The project started in August 2016, when Schaeffer said she was brainstorming about what to make her daughters, Annie and Georgia, now 12 and 8, respectively, for lunches for their upcoming school year.

“I was sort of daydreaming and thinking it was so much easier for my parents. They just did peanut butter and jelly,” Schaeffer said. “It wasn’t like now, all these schools are nut-free and you can’t do peanut butter anymore.”

Student News: August 5, 2021

Student News

August 5, 2021

Peter Weil of Cooperstown was named to the dean’s list at Bates College for the semester ending in May 2021. The distinction is earned by students whose grade point average is 3.88 or higher.

SUNY Delhi announced its dean’s list for the spring 2021 semester, a recognition for students who earned a 3.5 or higher grade-point average for the semester. The local students who qualified include:

Jacob Weiner of Oneonta;

Travis Bookhout of Laurens;

Lucas Breakey of Oneonta;

Carly Hill of Otego;

Sara Kieru of Oneonta;

Marissa Kupris of West Edmeston;

Sean Murray of Milford;

Colette Corkery of Oneonta;

Nelson Mondaca of Cooperstown;

Aidan Cutting of Unadilla;

Kyle Martin of West Oneonta;

Gavin Fetterman of Otego;

Mark Smith Jr. of Schenevus;

Elizabeth Brzezinski of Oneonta;

Meghan Brigham of Morris;

Tara Austin of Oneonta;

Madilyne Kupris of West Edmeston;

Kaylee Willmart of Oneonta;

Carmen Booan of Cooperstown;

Curtis Self of Morris;

Ava Baker of Cooperstown;

Kali Benedict of Unadilla;

Audrianna Butler of Oneonta;

Kayla Cimkowski of Maryland;

Lauryn Fiaschi of Otego;

Courtney Gilbert of Unadilla;

Tracy Graney of Unadilla;

Marisa Kanai of Oneonta;

Cameron Kellogg of Burlington Flats;

Amy Lee of Oneonta;

Brooke Leech of Milford;

Jessica Leveille of Schenevus;

Taylor Lopez of Oneonta;

Rachel Ouimet-Edson of Oneonta;

Liza Rathbun of Cooperstown;

Molly Watson of Cooperstown;

Abigail West of Cherry Valley;

Jacob Robinson of Oneonta;

Janelle Harter of Fly Creek;

Avalon Kubis of Cooperstown;

Logan Osterhoudt of Oneonta;

Alyssa Carey of Oneonta;

and Spencer Brink of Oneonta.

COVID era brings new mental health issues

COVID era brings new
mental health issues

By Kevin Limiti • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and more recently with the emergence of the Delta variant, people have been forced to change their lifestyles in order to stay safe and healthy. While the prolonged effects of social distancing are unclear, in Otsego County there are clear statistics regarding the effects these changes have had on the mental health of its residents.

According to the Otsego County Department of Health, there was a lull in people seeking care for the first few months of the pandemic, but by the end of 2020 there was a 5% increase in those seeking treatment.

The Otsego County Mental Health and Addiction Service clinics moved about 1,000 clients to telehealth, where medical staff provide services via phone, Zoom or other technologies.

Children and Family Services as well as Addiction Recovery both experienced declines in service, but this was because referral services had either gone remote or weren’t operating under normal capacities.

“We experienced a significant jump in severity of impairment and risk in both adults but most dramatically in children,” Susan Matt, director of community services for the Otsego County Mental Health Department, said. “Unlike many other counties, we have not seen a significant increase in overdose deaths.”

Cooperstown Central School has new principal

Cooperstown Central School has new principal

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Karl O’Leary was announced as the new principal for Cooperstown Central School’s middle/high school, the district announced Tuesday, Aug. 3, on its website.

According to the post, O’Leary has 17 years of school experience and was previously an English teacher. He enjoys running and playing with his kids outdoors.

 

Student News: July 29, 2021

Student News

July 29, 2021

Tufts University recently announced the dean’s list for the Spring 2021 semester. Among those students are, William Friedman of Cooperstown; Finn Hall of Oneonta. Dean’s list honors at Tufts University require a semester grade point average of 3.4 or greater.

Justin Brown of Edmeston is among the Canisius College students named to the spring 2021 Dean’s list or merit list. Dean’s list recognitions are awarded to those students who have attained a grade point average of at least 3.50 for the semester and have completed at least four courses of three credits or equivalent.

Cazenovia College recognizes students for their academic achievement during the Spring 2021 semester. Those named to the Dean’s List have achieved a 3.5 or better grade point average, including Meghan Marsh of West Edmeston; Eliya Pickwick of Mount Vision and Amanda Pressly of Cherry Valley.

Student News: July 22, 2021

Student News

July 22, 2021

Local students were among the Hartwick College graduates Saturday, May 29, including:

Kelsey Elizabeth Collins of Morris;

Ushuaia Rae Diaz of Schenevus;

Zachary Thomas French of Norwich;

Katlin Ann Hager of Otego;

Christopher D. Janitz of Mount Vision;

Shanria Denetra Jolly of Oneonta;

Brianna Lynn Schworm of Edmeston;

Stacey L. Sickler of Franklin;

Tarrah Skye Smith of Oneonta;

Hanna N. Spencer of Oneonta.

Dr. Alberto Jose Cardelle appointed SUNY Oneonta President

Dr. Alberto Jose Cardelle appointed SUNY Oneonta President

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

SUNY announced that Dr. Alberto Jose Cardelle would be appointed SUNY Oneonta President on Tuesday, July 20.

This appointment is effective Sept. 6.

“From our first meeting with Dr. Cardelle, I was impressed, and the entire search committee was unanimous that he would be the ideal candidate for SUNY Oneonta,” SUNY Board Vice Chairman Cesar Perales, said in a press release. “His abilities go beyond his resume, which is extraordinary, as he shares a passion for creating a more equitable system in which students can thrive.”

Geertgens: Writer explains ‘what schools should teach’

LETTER from DOUGLAS GEERTGENS

Writer explains ‘what
schools should teach’

In a previous essay, I asked; Why Do We Have Schools?

Parents and other family members took on the major responsibility for teaching children whatever it was they thought they should know. As in much of the animal kingdom, the adults play a very important role in teaching their young what they need to know to survive. We are born and eventually we die. Those who best learn how to survive, usually live the longest. But is that really true for us humans?

My mother used to say, “ignorance is bliss.” There are times that I believe her, but in most cases, ignorance will not get you very far in life. When settlers first came to the New World, they embarked on a bold adventure. There were new challenges and survival was just one of them. After living in relative freedom for over 100 years, the rule of the King began to take its toll on some of those freedoms. From this frustration came the words; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Where does that quote come from? If you cannot answer that question, then our schools have failed. The founding fathers realized that if each generation after them were not taught about the reasons for the revolution and the documents developed as a result of their frustrations with the king, then the experiment would fail. They knew the importance of teaching the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States to future generations. That is one answer to the title question.

In the early days of our country, our society had that role. Parents had that role.

After COVID delay, Cooperstown teacher plans overseas trip for 2022

After COVID delay, Cooperstown
teacher plans overseas trip for 2022

By PATRICK DEWEY • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Cooperstown Central School students gather for a group picture in front of Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna during a 2016 overseas trip with history teacher Jennifer Pindar.

For more than 15 years Cooperstown High School history teacher Jennifer Pindar has loved leading student groups on educational trips abroad, a tradition she will continue after the coronavirus pandemic canceled last year’s trip.

In 2022, Pindar will lead a student trip to London, Belgium and Amsterdam. The destinations were agreed on in consultation with educational travel company World Strides. Along with Pindar, students will be accompanied by tour guides from World Strides and parents and teachers who agree to chaperone. The school is not involved in this trip.

The itinerary includes Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and other attractions. Students will also take excursions around Brussels and Bruges in Belgium. In Amsterdam, highlights will include visits to the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum.

Oneonta High School celebrates 2021 graduation

Reilly Catan walks to get her diploma. (Kevin Limiti/Allotsego)

Oneonta High School celebrates 2021 graduation

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA — Oneonta High School celebrated its graduation Saturday, June 26.

The ceremony was held on the football field adjacent to the school, where, in a common theme among graduates this year, speakers talked about struggling through COVID and the extra challenges associated with the pandemic.

“No other generation has felt more trapped in our hometown than ours,” Aidan Mackey said, a graduate tasked with giving the greeting. “I call upon all of you to forge your own path and to tell your own story. … Our expectations were set so low this year that anything we got back was an amazing experience.”

In total, there were 121 graduating seniors in the class of 2021, many of whom won scholarships and awards.

In addition to congratulating the graduates, Superintendent Thomas Brindley thanked the parents and staff for enduring through COVID.

“In some way, shape or form, you’ve all participated in school this year, and for that I’m grateful,” Brindley said. “Despite the craziness of this school year, it seems that these four years have passed by really fast. This class was an incredibly special group. This is more true now than ever before.”

Valedictorian Maximillian Madej gave a speech that encouraged his fellow graduates to do better.

“I know nobody wants to keep hearing it but last year was challenging for all of us,” Madej said. “A few years ago, I was given the simple advice to do better. In some instances, I succeeded and in some instances, I failed. But I’ve always tried my best. By doing better, we’ll all be happier and more fulfilled. ”

“We, the class of 2021, have shown we are kind and hard working and ready to move on and take on the challenges of tomorrow,” Madej said.

Valedictorian Maximillian Madej makes his speech. (Kevin Limiti/Allotsego.com).

 

 

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