News of Otsego County

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


Oneonta School District

In ‘Cohorts,’ Students Return to Oneonta Schools

In ‘Cohorts,’ Students

Return To Oneonta Schools

Yessenia Agosto walks with her daughter, Shayla Blanco, the first student to arrive at Valleyview Elementary School for the first day of in-person learning since the school year started. Oneonta students were divided up into two “cohorts,” with the “A” cohort in classrooms on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the “B” cohort in on Thursday and Fridays. When not in the classroom, students will continue remote learning. (Ian Austin/
OHS Schools Cutting Classes For Neediest

OHS Schools Cutting

Classes For Neediest

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Superintendent Joseph Yelich

ONEONTA – Oneonta High School students may be happy to hear that there won’t be any summer school this year, but Superintendent Joseph Yelich sees it as a bigger problem.

“We used to have 200 students attending summer school, but it’s now down to 50,” he said.  “Some kids will go the first day of summer school and not show up after that.  It costs $150,000 to run the program.”

The Oneonta City School District’s 2019-20 budget, to be voted on next Tuesday, May 21. The proposed budget is $41,117,590 – an increase of $1,675,174 – with a 2.34 percent increased tax levy.


Student Art Shows


OPENING RECEPTION – 5:30 – 7 p.m. Celebrate the opening of the “Our Town” exhibit by the Cooperstown High School. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-1400 or visit

SPRING ART SHOW – 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. OCSD invites the community to their art show featuring works by students. Foxcare Center, Oneonta. Call 607-433-8200 or visit

Oneonta Schools Propose $22 Million Upgrade

Oneonta Schools Propose

$22 Million Upgrade

Energy, Track and Classroom Space A Priority, Says Yelich
The Oneonta Board of Education called a special meeting tonight to hear a presentation by Superintendent. Joseph Yelich about the proposed $22 million upgrades to the schools, including energy effiency, classroom and athletic field rennovations. From left, Amy Burnsworth, Darren Gaisford, Eileen Lishansky, district clerk, Jamie Reynolds, board president, Bill Grau, board VP and Susan Kurkowski. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – New boilers, turf for the athletic fields and a completely new design of the arts, music, technology and family sciences classrooms are just part of a $22 million dollar upgrade to be put before the voters on May 16.

“So many projects we do are inside the walls, where no one can see them,” said Superintendent Joseph Yelich during a special Board of Education meeting called tonight at the former Center Street School. “But so many of these projects will really change the feel of the whole school.”

Among the most significant of the 48 proposed projects is the $1.8 million upgrade to art, music, technology and family sciences classroom spaces in the middle and high school. “Right now, so much of what we have is tucked in little closets and notches done in an aftermath effort,” said Yelich. “But this will give up state-of-the-art classrooms with the ability to offer 3D printing, animation and media spaces, blueprint drawing. These are tangible classroom benefits.”

IN MEMORIAM: Ruth Anne Pushkar, 84; Worked For Oneonta School District

IN MEMORIAM: Ruth Anne Pushkar, 84;

Worked For Oneonta School District

Ruth Pushkar

ONEONTA – Ruth Anne Pushkar, 84, who, along with her husband, was active with the Oneonta School District, passed away Thursday, May 12, 2016 at AO Fox Hospital Nursing Home in Oneonta.

She was born on Nov. 16, 1931 in Larksville, Pa. the daughter of Joseph and Anna (Borkowski) Gieda. She married Edward S. Pushkar on August 29, 1953 in Plymouth, Pa. He predeceased her on March 3, 1987.

Growing up in Plymouth, PA, Ruth graduated in 1949 from Larksville High School. She worked at Gieda’s Café, a restaurant owned by her family, as well as Isaac Long’s Department store in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Several years after high school, Ruth met and later married her husband. They eventually moved to Mohawk, NY where Edward was offered a teaching position. In 1956 they moved to Oneonta where Edward worked as a History teacher and coached the OHS Varsity Football Team. Ruth was employed for over 40 years as a Payroll Officer for the Oneonta City School District. Retiring in 1987, she returned to work for a short time after her husband’s death.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103