Editor’s Note: Milford Central Superintendent of Schools Mark Place wrote this Thanksgiving letter to the district’s families.
Each of the last five years I have prepared a letter at this time of the year with a focus on the upcoming holidays. Today I write to you for the same purpose along with a message of hope and gratitude.
As a part of the MCS family, my thoughts are with all of you. I see the exhaustion in all of our eyes and the want for this pandemic to just be over.
Collectively we have sacrificed a great deal to keep ourselves, our families, and MCS safe, and I am grateful for your continued patience and grace as we have traveled together through one of the most challenging times in our history.
Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. It is, and always has been, about family. My earliest memories of Thanksgiving are of starting the day at my great-grandfather’s farm on Route 205 in Laurens and ending at my grandparents’ home in Oneonta.
And all these years later, what I truly remember are the feelings of togetherness. I’m sure that many of you have similar memories and are working hard to build that for your children.
This year, my family has decided to forgo coming together for the holidays.
It is one more heartbreak of this pandemic for me, but the thought of my parents possibly catching COVID-19 is more heartbreak than I’m willing to endure.
As you and your family prepare for the holidays, I’m not going to ask for you to make the same decision that my family has made. Rather, all that I’m going to ask is that you have a plan to do whatever is necessary to protect you and your family.
By protecting your own family, the MCS family will be protected as well. At the end of the day, our goal is the same – to be able to be together, and we want nothing more than to be able to continue with in-person instruction after the holidays.
I am hopeful that each of us will continue to do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and that the end of the pandemic will come sooner than current models predict. And when the pandemic has finally ended, I hope that the entire MCS family will come together and celebrate how well we took care of one another.
We are Milford Strong! And we will get through these challenging times together. May your holidays be filled with joy.
Graduate Robert Wooley and his family, top photo, share a table at this evening’s Milford Central School commencement, a measure organizers took to maintain social distancing and stay in line with Governor Cuomo’s 150-person limit on such gatherings. Best of all, grads and their loved ones could be together. “It’s really about the students and their families,” said Michelle Dibble, co-organizer of of the event. Inset, right, Valedictorian Ethan Freer tells his classmates, “Endings are the worst,” and yet he recounted happy experiences the Class of 2020 went through together. The salutatorian was Cassidy Hall. Class President Teeghan Gale also addressed the gathering. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
ST. PATRICKS DINNER – 4 – 7 p.m. Enjoy Corned Beef & Cabbage dinner, performance by Irish Step Dancers hosted by The Knights of Columbus. Take-out encouraged. Free, Donations accepted. St. Mary’s Parish Center, 31 Elm St., Cooperstown. 607-437-4626 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
HEART WALK – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Support American Heart Association at 4th annual indoor Heat Walk & Health Fair featuring vendors, fitness classes, fun for the whole family. Cost, $30/person. FoxCare Center, 1 FoxCare Dr., Oneonta. 607-431-5009 or visit www.facebook.com/FoxCareCenter/
MILFORD – Nan G. Pedersen Williams, 95, who served in the Marines as a truck driver during World War II, passed away Sunday morning, Dec. 8, 2019, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.
She was born Nan Jeanette Gerling on June 7, 1924, at Community Hospital in Montclair, N.J., the daughter of John and Edith (Saxton) Gerling.
For the first six years of her life she lived in East Orange, N.J. After the death of her father and grandfather Gerling, Nan’s widowed mother moved to Westville, where she had been born 40 years earlier, and purchased the store there, which she ran for three years.
TEDX – 6 p.m. Listen to speakers on variety of topics from food, to relationships and leadership, at independently organized TED event. Cost, $30 (after 8/15). Slade Theater, Hartwick College, Oneonta. www.tedxoneonta.com
Students from Mrs. Polomcean’s third grade class at Milford Central School bid farewell to a school of 50 brown trout that they have been raising in their classroom by releasing them into Schenevus Creek earlier this morning. Above, as fellow students sing “Bye Bye Trout,” Topanga Miller releases of of the fish under the watchful eye of Mike Zurn, Franklin, from Trout Unlimited. At right, Katelyn Smith prepares to release a fish alongside Keven Kelley, Oneonta, left, and Bob Wikoff, Oneonta. The trout-raising project, in its first year at Milford, was the idea of third-grade teacher Kim Burkhart, who had done it with another class in Sherburne, and the tank in her classroom was donated by Trout Unlimited. She plans to continue the project next year. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
EARTH FEST – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Annual Earth Festival features a clothing swap, an art contest, free paper shredding, workshops and more. Milford Central School, 42 West Main St., Milford. Info, (607) 547-4488. occainfo.org/earth-festival/
HEALTH EXPO – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Lectures, panels and presentations on everything from Rabies and Lyme Disease awareness to substance abuse and mental health awareness. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. 607-547-4230, www.LHEOtsego.com
MILFORD – Work is slated to begin this summer on $4.69M in upgrades to the Milford Central School after a 244-184 vote approved the capital improvement project on Tuesday, March 12.
“It’s a win for the community, students and staff,” said Superintendent Mark Place. “The building is 30 years old, and this project addresses some upgrades that regular maintenance can’t take care of.”
MARKETPLACE – 1 – 3 p.m. Support our youngest entrepreneurs as they demonstrate their skills, sell their products at Trep$ Marketplace. Richfield Springs Central School, 93 W. Main St., Richfield Springs. 315-858-0610.
WRITING CLUB – 4:15 p.m. Join local writers to improve your craft, share ideas/progress in supportive environment. All ages/abilities welcome. Harris Memorial Library, 334 Main St., Otego. 607-988-6661 or visit www.facebook.com/harrislibrary/