Cooperstown Junior/Senior High School Principal Karl O’Leary is out seven months into what was his first year at the district, reportedly escorted from the building on the afternoon of Friday, March 18, ending a brief but reportedly rocky tenure in the building.
The district’s Board of Education hired Mr. O’Leary in August 2021.
We’re working on the story for this week’s edition of The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta.
In honor of Vincenza Alessi, a 2012 Cooperstown Central School graduate ill with bone marrow failure of unknown origin, the school will host a bone marrow drive on March 29 from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the school auditorium.
Those interested in donating must be between ages 18 and 40.
Text VincenzaCCS2012 to 61474 to register to have a swab taken at the school or to receive a test kit in the mail.
Editor’s note: Hot off their exciting state championship win on Sunday, we invited CCS Boys’ Varsity Soccer Coach Frank Miosek to reflect on his team’s brilliant 2021 performance. Here’s what he wrote.
By COACH FRANK MIOSEK
I have been the CCS boys’ soccer coach since 1988. Every summer I start to plan for the coming fall season. Before this dream job, I had another — I spent thirteen years at Cherry Valley as their first girls’ varsity soccer coach. Starting in 1971, I was a coach of youth soccer in Oneonta. So you can see I have a passion for the sport; as a coach and as a player: high school; college (Oneonta State 68-71), men’s travel Oneonta United, National Soccer Hall of Fame Team and numerous teams in the area until 2014.
By CHAD G. WELCH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
When Cooperstown Central School’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, Tyler Bertram, decided to transfer from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he said he was looking for a better fit, a bigger role and an opportunity to play closer to home.
He found all three with Binghamton University men’s basketball team during the 2020-2021 season.
After finishing his high school career at Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont, Bertram spent two years in Charlotte; the first a redshirt season during which he said he added 20 pounds to bulk up his slender 6-foot 3-inch frame. In the second, as a redshirt freshman, he appeared in 12 games for the 49ers averaging 9.3 minutes per game.
“Coming back close to home was important, but finding the right fit was very important,” Bertram said. “The previous situation just didn’t really feel like it was the right spot and then knowing that Binghamton played really fast and like to shoot a lot of threes, I knew that I could kind of be myself here.”
“I made the mistake of not fully understanding what kind of style it was going to be (in Charlotte),” Bertram said. “I thought the change went really well. It was a fun year. The team was great. I just had a lot of fun playing fast and playing with some confidence again.”
COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown Central’s new superintendent, Sarah Spross, announced yesterday that a junior-senior high school student tested positive for COVID, and that school will be closed beginning today through Friday, March 26.
Students will shift to remote instruction, and volleyball practice and games have been suspended through next Saturday.
“While many of our staff have received the vaccination,” Spross said, “they are not considered fully vaccinated because they are not two weeks past receiving the second dose.”
COOPERSTOWN – Annemarie L. Danielski, passed away at home on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. She was 86.
The daughter of Jean and Yvonne Philippot des Miniѐres, she was born on Aug. 11, 1934, in Bavillier, France.
Annemarie graduated from the Université de Nancy, France, in 1953, and later obtained a Master of Arts Degree in French from Middlebury College. She taught French to hundreds of American officers under the auspices of the University of Maryland.
In a letter sent out to parents, Interim Superintendent Romona Wenck, said as second staff member was identified as having “close contact” with the first. Additionally, three students were also identified as being close contacts, Wenck wrote.
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – When he was in first grade in the Greater Johnstown School District, young Bill Crankshaw counted to 100, and Mrs. Ruby Walter, his teacher, celebrated by singing “How Much Is That Doggy in the Window.”
In second grade, Mrs. Greco made sure his samples of cursive writing were submitted every time there was a contest. His penmanship usually won.
In third grade, Mrs. Ramsay enrolled him in every spelling bee.
One semester, the future Cooperstown Central School superintendent received 12 A’s. His dad, George, who spent his 42-year career at the Johnstown Knitting Mill, would give him 25 cents for each A – quite a cache for a 9-year-old.
It was in Johnstown schools that young Bill – his family has been in Montgomery County since the American Revolution, and he would become the first Crankshaw to get a college degree – developed a love of music.
“I played everything I could get my hands on,” he said.
After obtaining a music degree at Ithaca College – he focused on saxophone and vocal skills – and a master’s from St. Rose, he taught music for 14 happy years at Glebe Street Elementary.
He moved to Northville as elementary principal (2009) and Remsen as superintendent (2013) before arriving at CCS on Jan. 1, 2017, succeeding C.J. Herbert, who had died in an ATV accident the previous March.
In his four years at the CCS helm, Crankshaw’s often told people how much he loved the district, and how he hoped he’d be spending his career here.
A phone call a couple of months ago changed all of that.
It was David Ziskin, Herkimer- Fulton-Montgomery BOCES superintendent, who was leading the Johnstown search committee for a new superintendent.
“I think you’d be a perfect fit,” Ziskin told Crankshaw.“The name ‘Johnstown’ is the only school district
I would have replied to,” said Crankshaw in a Monday, Aug. 31, interview, three days after the news of his departure broke.
He was offered the job in 2-3 weeks.
Here, finding a successor may be a little more complicated, said school board President Tim Hayes:
ONC BOCES Superintendent Nick Savin, who will lead the search, is retiring, and will also be occupied with “his own transition.”
With Crankshaw expecting to start his next job “Dec. 1 or sooner,” the first step will be find an interim superintendent “who wants to take on the responsibility at this unprecedented time.”
When Crankshaw was hired, “we had a good amount of applications.” But with economic uncertainty, New York State’s requirements and COVID-19, “I can’t even begin to predict what the applicant pool will look like,” Hayes said.
The school board planned to begin that discussion when it met at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2.
He added, “I’m very pleased to have two principals in place, after a significant amount of turnover, who are really working hard to make sure our school is moving in the direction we need to, pandemic or not.”
For his part, Hayes said, Crankshaw is leaving two strong principals in place: Ann Meccariello, promoted from elementary- to high-school principal in March; and Morrisville-Eaton High School Principal Tracy Durkee, a nationally certified fellow of the Common Core Institute, hired in May as elementary principal.
In addition to the hometown draw, Crankshaw said he is looking forward to tackling the Johnstown district’s financial challenges.
His strategy, he said, is to determine “what education means in the community and how we’re going to pay for it.” CCS – the state’s COVID-related 20-percent cut in aid, $1 million, will accelerate that conversation – is going to have to answer the same question, but less urgently, he said.
During his four-year tenure, Crankshaw said he’s most proud of the creation of “a guaranteed and viable curriculum: We can tell you, every week, what’s being taught in K-12.”
He found a good staff in place, he said, but in the past four years, through “robust recruitment” of 30-some teachers, “we’ve attracted some amazing educators.”
Another necessary step, he said, was increasing the counseling department from 3½ positions to five, ensuring a full-time social worker at both the elementary and high schools. “We recognized the level of need,” he said.
After seven years of seeing each other on weekends, Crankshaw said he’s also looking forward to being reunited with his spouse, Wally Hart, Lexington Foundation executive director. The couple bought an Otsego Lake-side property in Hickory Grove, but maintained a home base in Gloversville, part of the Johnstown district.
As he contemplates his next step, the 30-year educator had an experience Sunday evening that confirmed his vocation.
He was invited to a private recital at Hyde Hall, organized by Rickey Calleo and Faith Carmichael, that featured Vicente Nunez, a Crankshaw pupil from Glebe Street.
At the time, Vicente’s family lived on an isolated farm, seven miles up a dirt road, beyond the reach of even a school bus. His father had returned to Puerto Rico, and no one in the family had been to college before.
Now 18, a trained singer, Vicente is off to college and a hoped-for career in New York City.
“This is an example of what can happen with the right educator,” Crankshaw said
COOPERSTOWN – The opening of Cooperstown public schools has been pushed back a month, parents and citizens participating at this morning’s Zoom meeting on the reopening plan were advised.
At-home instruction will be offered from Sept. 9, when schools were supposed to open, until Friday, Oct. 2; then current plans are for students to return to class that Monday, Oct. 5, said Supt. of Schools Bill Crankshaw.
CCS FINALIZING DETAILS
COOPERSTOWN – The Class of 2020 at Cooperstown Central School may watch their “drive-in” graduation ceremony from parked cars in the high school’s Linden Avenue parking lot, according to a press release from the school sent out today.
If allowed by Governor Cuomo’s un-PAUSE regulations, students will “exit their cars and receive their diplomas. But if New York State will not allow this due to safety concerns, we will mail diplomas and other honors home.”
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – The news had leaked out, but ONC BOCES superintendents, including Cooperstown’s Bill Crankshaw and Oneonta’s Tom Brindley, got the news officially at a superintendents’ summit this afternoon:
The school break announced March 13, extended once, will be extended again for another two weeks, until Wednesday, April 29, at least.
More surprising to the school chiefs was the news, delivered to the assembled group by ONC BOCES Superintendent Nick Savin, who had only learned it himself earlier today, was: This year’s Regents exams have been cancelled.