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
HOLIDAY SHOW & SALE – 5 – 7 p.m. Find beautiful items by local artists, craftspeople for holiday gift giving. (Or just to treat yourself.) Cooperstown Art Association. 607-547-9777 or visit www.cooperstownart.com
CELEBRATION – 3 – 5 p.m. Join St. Mary’s Food Pantry to celebrate 40 years. Enjoy refreshments, tour the pantry. RSVP by 11/1. St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 39 Walnut St., Oneonta. 607-386-2623 or e-mail email@example.com
SOCKHOP – 5 p.m. Fun evening features, silent auction featuring great deals from local businesses, dancing, food from the 50s. Benefit for 1st UMC Missions & Art Ministry, Oneonta Community Health Center. Cost, $5. First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-4102 or visit www.firstumc-oneonta.org
THEATER – 7:30 p.m. Theatrical production of ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest’ presented by Stuff of Dreams Productions. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. 607-432-5407 or visit foothillspac.org