News of Otsego County

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


Joe Yelich

Injury Breaking Up Water Street Brawl Led To New Career


Injury Breaking Up

Water Street Brawl

Led To New Career

Hard Work, Hartwick Teaching Degree

Set Brindley On Road To Superintendent

A former cop, an injury forced Thomas Brindley to pursue another career path, and he was named Oneonta school superintendent Wednesday.  (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Exclusive

ONEONTA – Could Thomas Brindley, who will become the new superintendent of Oneonta City Schools on July 1 when Joseph Yelich retires, have been a police chief by now?

“I was an Oneonta police officer for seven years,” the assistant superintendent and former Oneonta High School principal said in an interview after the news of his promotion became public today. “I was 20 and a SUNY Oneonta student when I started with the department in 1987.”

But in 1994, breaking up a brawl on Water Street resulted in a career-ending shoulder injury. “I spent the next year convalescing,” said Brindley who became assistant superintendent at the end of last year. “And then I got the job at Hartwick.”

Brindley Succeeds Yelich In Top Post At Oneonta Schools

­­Brindley Succeeds

Yelich In Top Post

At Oneonta Schools

New Superintendent Former Policeman,

1st To Rise From Teacher To Front Office

ONEONTA – The Oneonta City school board has accepted the retirement of Joseph Yelich as superintendent and appointed his assistant superintendent, Thomas Brindley, to succeed him, effective July 1.

Yelich has served as superintendent since July 1, 2013, after serving as superintendent of the Waverly School District and executive principal in the Jamestown School District.

Before his current post, Brindley, a former city police officer, was high school principal for five years.    It is the first time someone has been promoted superintendent from within the school district, said Bill Grau, school board president.

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