News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Bill Crankshaw

Schools Struggle With Many Issues COVID-19 Raises


Schools Struggle

With Many Issues

COVID-19 Raises

Parent Travis Hodgdon picks up his children’s assignments for the next two weeks at Cooperstown Elementary School this morning. (Jim Kevlin/


CDC image of the Coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – How long will the schools remain closed?

What will happen if students can’t prepare or take state-mandated tests?

Will summer vacation need to be cancelled if students miss two months of school now?

These are some of the questions that still remain unanswered as Cooperstown’s schools – and all schools in the ONC BOCES – stand shuttered under quarantine restrictions related to the COVID-19 virus.

Cooperstown Central Superintendent Bill Crankshaw was at his office this morning, along with a skeleton staff, working to chart a course for this uncertain time.

“There are many unknowns at this point,” he said.

Meccariello’s ‘Loyalty’ May Ensure Stability At High School Helm

Meccariello’s ‘Loyalty’

May Ensure Stability

At High School Helm

Anne Meccariello

COOPERSTOWN – CCS Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw said he’s recommending Elementary Principal Anne Meccariello for a promotion to return stability to the high school.

“Anne’s been with the district 23 years,” said Crankshaw.  “And she’s been in education for 28.  Anne has a real sense of loyalty to the district.  We are in need of consistency at the high school.”

The superintendent made the recommendation to the school board’s Personnel Committee after receiving High School Principal Kristin Butler’s resignation in February, effective July 1, after less than a year on the job.

ATTENTION PARENTS! Vaping Is Threatening Your Kids



Vaping Is Threatening Your Kids

Editor’s Note: CCS Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw sent this cautionary letter to parents.

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Dr. Crankshaw included this illustration showing samples of vaping equipment in his letter to parents.

Cooperstown Central School District has experienced a sharp increase in “vaping.” This dangerous trend is a common concern in almost all schools nationally. Locally, the most current Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2018) indicates that 44 percent of high school students, grades 9-72, in Otsego County have used vapor products. This is a staggering statistic and evidence for concern.

We plan to increase our efforts to protect our students from the use of e-cigarettes, vape pens, or juuls, which use a liquid solution comprised of nicotine, crystallized marijuana (THC) and other dangerous substances imbued with attractive flavors. Current policy addresses tobacco, nicotine and other substances that are prohibited from use by students in school. Regulation and our Code of Conduct are consistent with policy. However, deep knowledge of vaping by the general public, including parents and caregivers – and all threats associated with it – is either unknown, misunderstood, or misrepresented.

A CCS Grad Herself, Principal ‘Dynamo,’ Superintendent Says

A CCS Grad Herself,

Principal ‘Dynamo,’

Superintendent Says

Kristin Butler Just What’s Needed

At High School, Crankshaw Predicts

Little did Kristin Wilhelm know on graduating from Cooperstown Central High School in 1999 that, as Kristin Butler, she would be elevated to principal 20 years later. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Kristin Butler today in the hallways of CCS, where she becomes principal July 1.

COOPERSTOWN – In second grade, Kristin Butler already knew what she wanted to do.

“I wanted to be just like Mrs. Kiser,” the new CCS junior-senior high school principal said in an interview this afternoon.  Deborah Kiser “was one of the kindest, most compassionate people I’ve ever known.”

Butler, CCS ’99, a SUNY Geneseo graduate, fifth-grade teacher locally and, for the past year, director of curriculum & development, will take the helm of the 444-student academy on Linden Avenue on July 1, succeeding interim principal Jim Brophy.  Her appointment was announced on Tuesday.

“We’re 100 percent thrilled that Kristin is going to be leading at the junior-senior high school level,” said her boss, Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw.  “We are looking forward to great improvement, and great success for her in that that role.”

‘Crisis Response Teams’ Met Today To Develop Plan To Assist Students

‘Crisis Response Teams’

Met Today To Develop

Plan To Assist Students

Superintendent Crankshaw

COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown Central schools’ “crisis response teams” at the elementary and junior-senior high school levels have prepared an “excellent plan” to address concerns students and staff may have as the result of Friday’s arrest of phys-ed teacher Justin Hobbie on charges of distributing child pornography.

In a message sent to the community at 6:04 p.m., Supt. of Schools Bill Crankshaw said both teams had met today to discuss the “very serious charges” against Hobbie, 41, who was arrested at his Springfield Center home by state police and officers of the federal Department of Homeland Security.

CCS Budget Hearing Sets Stage For May 16 Vote, Election Of 2

CCS Budget Hearing Sets Stage

For May 16 Vote, Election Of 2

CCS Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw details the 2017-18 spending plan at this evening’s official budget hearing at the middle/high school library. The $19,061,937 budget, which includes a 2.8 percent increase in the tax levy, will go to the voters Tuesday, May 16, when polls will be open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. at the high school. Five candidates – all were at tonight’s hearing – are vying to fill two vacancies. The only non-candidate to speak at tonight’s hearing was Carl Wenner, Fly Creek, front left, who raised concerns about rising taxes.  School board members, seated, from left, are Marcy Birch, president Theresa Russo, Mary Leonard and Marielle Ainsworth.  (Jim Kevlin/


CCS Board Gives Unanimous OK To New Superintendent’s Budget

CCS Board Gives Unanimous OK

To New Superintendent’s Budget

The Cooperstown Central school board a few minutes ago prepares to unanimously approve the proposed 2017-18 budget, totaling $19,061,937, a 3.38 percent increase. If approved by district voters Tuesday, May 16, the tax levy would rise 2.77 percent. From left are school board members Tony Scalici and Tim Hayes, Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw, board President Theresa Russo, and school board members Marcy Birch and Mary Leonard. (Jim Kevlin//
New CCS Superintendent Takes Budget On The Road

New CCS Superintendent

Takes Budget On The Road

New CCS Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw is at the Hartwick Town Board meeting at this hour, outlining the proposed 2017-18 school budget. It is the first of six meetings leading up to the budget vote 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, when two school board seats will also be filled. Listening in the foreground is Town Board member Quinton Hasak Jr.  Accompanying him were, seated at left, CCS Business Manager Amy Kukenberger and school board member Marcie Birch.  (Jim Kevlin/
CCS Superintendent Sworn In

CCS Superintendent Sworn In

CCS’ new superintendent of schools, Bill Crankshaw, recites his oath office, administered by Clerk of the District Wendy Lansing, right, at the beginning of this evening’s school board meeting in the middle/high school library. At left, school board President Theresa Russo. Crankshaw assumed his duties with the New Year.  A snowstorm cancelled last week’s board meeting, so this is his first. At the completion of the oach, the audience applauded.   Crankshaw, raised in the Mohawk Valley, was recruited from his first superintendency, at Remsen Central in the Adirondacks.  (Jim Kevlin /
Traffic Steady 90 Minutes At Crankshaw’s Reception

Traffic Steady 90 Minutes

At Crankshaw’s Reception

Lucy Hayes, 10, right, takes advantage of this evening’s welcome reception to get know the man who will be overseeing her education for the foreseeable future, Dr. William Crankshaw, new Cooperstown Central School superintendent.  The reception line to meet Crankshaw, who joined CCS Tuesday, Jan. 3, was continuous for the full 90 minutes of this evening’s event.  With Lucy are dad Tim, a SUNY Oneonta administrator who is also a member of the CCS Board of Education, sister Madison, 12 (but she’s turning 13 tomorrow), and mom Lindsay.  (In the background is Sydney Scalici.)  At right, Crankshaw, who resigned as Remsen Rotary Club president, had a chance to chat this evening with Marge Landers, Cooperstown Rotary President.  (Jim Kevlin/

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