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.
COOPERSTOWN– Cooperstown’s softball players organized a 2.5 mile walk around the village Wednesday, April 28, to raise money and awareness for autism.
About 30 softball players, including modified, junior varsity and varsity players, walked from Cooperstown’s middle/high school to Main Street and back. They were joined by teachers, coaches, parents and one of their classmates who is on the autism spectrum, junior Kai Boulet, who led the walk.
The event was sponsored by the school’s Leadership Training for Athletes program, with support from LTA sponsor Monica Wolfe, who coaches the modified softball team, and special education teacher Stephanie Nelen and Boulet’s aide, Dawn Chase.
The teams raised $1,400 for the Kelberman Center, with seventh graders Arya Patel and Kayleigh Butler raising the most money individually, $665 and $415, respectively.
On appointing Anne Meccariello high school principal on March 10, 2020, CCS Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw praised “her sense of loyalty to the district.”
It didn’t pan out. She resigned Feb. 26, just short of a year.
April 1, Meccariello will become superintendent of schools in the Campbell-Savona Central School District in the Finger Lakes, 25 miles northwest of Corning.
“From the moment I saw the superintendent of schools position posted for Campbell-Savona, I knew I was very interested in becoming a Panther,” Meccariello – a Redskin and, after 2013, a Hawkeye – told WETM TV 18 in Elmira.
Gary Kuch resigned in 2008 to become Worcester Central superintendent, and his successor Mike Kring, served five years, and the revolving door began.
Seeking to boost test scores, the CCS school board and Superintendent C.J. Herbert created an “executive principal” position.
Lynn Strang was recruited from Hoosic Falls in July 2013, and raised the high school’s test scores into the two 2 percent in the state, winning CCS a “Rewards School” citation.
But the test scores rose as the outcry rose against “Common Core” testing, and she departed at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
COOPERSTOWN – Wendy Kiuber wants to make sure that no Cooperstown senior goes unrecognized.
“As the Governor keeps extending the closures, all the parents of the seniors were just trying to figure out what we could do to support them,” said a school board member and the mother of Lady Hawkeye senior Ashley Kiuber.
She is being helped by Colleen Donnelly, mother of Kate Donnelly, another standout senior on the girls’ basketball team that was headed to the state finals when the COVID-19 state of emergency cut their season short.
After meeting with Emily Additon at The Copy Shop, Kiuber came up with the idea to design yard signs as a show of community support. “We wanted it to be a surprise for the seniors,” she said. “When they came in to pick up their packets for the week, every senior got a sign and a bumper sticker.”
With Governor Cuomo’s announcement Friday, May 1, canceling school for the rest of the year, Superintendent Bill Crankshaw is revisiting plans for the Class of 2020’s prom, graduation and other celebrations.
The seniors have already seen the cancellation of spring sports, state tournaments and more.
“We’re surveying the students and parents on how we want to go forward,” said Crankshaw. “We want them to play a part in creatively celebrating these students.”
Among the ideas being considered is a parade of the graduating seniors through downtown. “We want something that the community could enjoy from a safe distance,” he said.
Crankshaw is also considering a live graduation on the grounds of the school. “That one we have to think through carefully,” he said. “We have to work it out so we’re observing all the rules while still creating positivity.”
Across the county, school superintendents are likewise rethinking graduation in the era of social distancing.
“We’re exploring a lot of options,” said Oneonta Superintendent Thomas Brindley. “Everything we do will have to be informed by state, legal and Department of Health guidelines.”
“I’ve heard of schools doing drive-up graduations, where each student has their five minutes in the spotlight,” said Unatego Superintendent David Richards. “Other places are having the diplomas delivered door-to-door by school bus.”
Richards said he’s also had people locally suggesting using the Unadilla Drive-In as a graduation location, a suggestion he has not entirely ruled out. “We’re exploring multiple options,” he said.
In Oneonta, Brindley is deciding between a scheduled ceremony, where students would show up in small groups, or a virtual ceremony.
“We’d put together the slideshow that we normally show at the Senior Brunch, and all the speeches would be recorded and played,” he said. “We would show each student’s photo and list their awards when they receive their diploma, and at the end, we’d put a tour of the school, since they won’t get to do a last walk-through. It’ll be a keepsake.”
WHAT I LEARNED – 11 a.m. Hanford Mills presents lively, fun exploration on Mill topics from water power, simple machines, more for kids & parents with education coordinator Luke Murphy on Facebook Live. Bring your questions & have fun. www.facebook.com/HanfordMillsMuseum/
TEEN NIGHT – 6 – 8 p.m. Teens are invited to have fun featuring open gym, swimming, board games, crafts, a community services project, & free dinner for those who attend. Oneonta YMCA, 20-26 Ford Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-0001 or visit www.facebook.com/FamilyRN/
STATE OF THE STATE – 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Hear from your elected officials in local, county, state, federal government on the State of Otsego County. Learn about legislation & initiatives that may impact your business. Featuring Antonio Delgado, James Seward, John Salka, others. Cost, $40/non-member. Otsego Grill, Morris Hall, SUNY Oneonta. 607-432-4500 or visit otsegocc.com
BOTTLE DRIVE – 2 – 4 p.m. Bring bottles, cans to support help Cooperstown Baseball players be part of the Ripkin Experience. Call to schedule pick-up or drop at Trolley behind Cooperstown High School. 607-282-6529 or e-mail CoopBaseball2020@gmail.com
CLIMATE TALK – 6:30 – 8 p.m. Learn about global warming, species loss at talk ‘Climate Crisis: Heading for Extinction (And What To Do About It)’ by Dr. Art Weaver. Templeton Hall, 63 Pioneer St., Cooperstown.
MEETING – 5:30 p.m. Angel Network meets to discuss 2019 Gala, opportunities for different committees (Christmas, my neighbors closet, etc.), 2020 gala, 2020 goals, more. Find opportunities to volunteer. Cafeteria, Cooperstown High School. Visit www.facebook.com/Cooperstown-Angel-Network-373232176025689/
HOLIDAY MARKET – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Find holiday gifts from 50+ vendors selling textiles, herbal products, jewelry, wreaths, more in heated greenhouse. Includes food/wine tasting, hot apple cider donuts, pies more. Sunnycrest Orchards, 7869 St. Rt. 10, Sharon Springs. 518-284-2256 or visit www.sunnycrestorchards.com