News of Otsego County

worcester central school

Schools reopen, protocols in place

Schools reopen, protocols in place

School districts in Otsego County reopened on Monday, January 3, amid a continuing rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, with the Omicron variant chiefly responsible.

But the response from the various superintendents was to stay the course and continue protocols that work for them, including guidelines such as mask wearing and social distancing.

Cooperstown Central School Superintendent Sarah Spross said district protocol last changed in mid-December, with layered mitigation strategies provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Otsego County Department of Health, and the New York State Department of Education. The guidelines include designating three-foot distancing spaces throughout school buildings.

Student News: April 29, 2021

Student News

Applications Open For Annual
Art Scholarships From CAA

Graduating seniors from any Clark Scholarship-eligible high schools are encouraged to apply for the Cooperstown Art Association’s annual Art Scholarship, for students looking to study art at the college level.

CAA will providing up to $1,400 in awards through this scholarship.

The schools eligible are: Cherry Valley-Springfield, Cooperstown, Edmeston, Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton, Laurens, Milford, Milford BOCES, Morris, Mt. Markham, Owen D. Young, Richfield Springs, Schenevus and Worcester.

Home-schooled students living within those school districts are also eligible for the scholarship.

Applications will be submitted online this year. Students can access the form on the CAA’s website,

There is no application fee.

Each student will be asked to provide a portfolio of five pieces that best represent their work and artistic abilities. Images can be uploaded directly in the form. Students will also be asked to upload a document that includes the titles and mediums for each piece entered.

All submissions must be submitted prior to the deadline at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 12.

All portfolios will be juried by a local artist /art professional, to be determined by the CAA.

Funding for this scholarship is provided in part through CAA’s annual Adorn-a-Door Fundraiser and through donations from CAA members and patrons.

Student Awards

Melinda Tyler of Cooperstown was inducted to Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society at Cazenovia College in Cazenovia.
Membership requires maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or above, leadership excellence, participation in service projects, and an annual membership fee. Tyler was one of the inaugural members of the induction class.

Heidi Edmonds of Cooperstown was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest all-discipline collegiate honor society.
Edmonds was initiated at United States Air Force Academy.

Elmira College recently announced its Dean’s List for academic achievement for winter 2021.
The list recognizes full-time undergraduate students who were registered for at least 12 computable credit hours and who earned a term grade point average of 3.6 or higher. Local students recognized include: Hailey Erway of Cherry Valley; Willow Tompkins of Worcester; and Mason Weir of Oneonta.

Thomas Leahy of Otego was one of six students from SUNY Oneonta’s School of Economics and Business who were inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon, the college’s honorary society in economics for the 2020-21 academic year.

Amethyst Gardner of Oneonta was one of 13 students inducted into SUNY Oneonta’s Edward K. Griesmer chapter of National Residence Hall Honorary.

P. Elliott DuBois, 87; Taught Music For 27 Years At Worcester

IN MEMORIAM: P. Elliott DuBois, 87;

Taught Music For 27 Years At Worcester

P. Elliott DuBois

WORCESTER – P. Elliott DuBois, 87, whose 27-year career teaching music at Worcester Central School, starting in 1961, would touch hundreds of lives, passed away at 10:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, at Fox Nursing Home in Oneonta.

Thankfully, the family was able to be at his side at various times during his final days before “going home,” for which he was prepared and eagerly awaiting.

Paul Elliott, known as Elliott because his father’s name was Paul, was born in Binghamton to Paul Jasper DuBois and Imogene (Ackley) DuBois on Dec. 28, 1933. Later came the birth of his only sibling, Marion (DuBois) Butler (husband, Steve Butler).

Worcester Decides: We Won’t Take In Schenevus Students

Worcester Decides:

We Won’t Take In

Schenevus Students

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to

WORCESTER – Less than a month after the Schenevus Central School Board voted to begin talks with Worcester about tuitioning-out, Worcester Central School turned down the proposal, citing legal issues.

“In the beginning, tuitioning for both sides looked good,” said Worcester superintendent Tim Gonzales. “But as we dug deeper and looked more into the legal side, that’s where it got muddy,” he said.

Schenevus, Worcester Schools Plan Forum On Possible Merger

Schenevus, Worcester

Schools Plan Forum

On Possible Merger

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to

SCHENEVUS – With its deficit heading toward $750,000, the Schenevus Central School has reopened merger talks with neighboring Worcester Central.

A forum entitled “The Future of Schenevus” is planned at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, in the school gym.

“Please join us for an evening of forward-thinking collaboration and gaining an understanding of what we need to do to maintain an institution that provides all students with a quality education,” the promotional information reads.

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, state Education Department representatives, Superintendent Theresa Carlin and District Treasurer Greg Beall will serve on a panel.

There a number of reasons for the financial bind, said Carlin, ranging from rising insurance costs and some poor decision making in the past.

And state aid is lagging.  “We’re getting the money we would’ve gotten 10 years ago,” Carlin said.

In June, special legislation sponsored by Seward and Miller allowed Schenevus Central to borrow $500,000 against future state aid.

But it hasn’t been enough.

At least six staff positions have been dissolved, meaning that teachers are being asked to do more, including teaching classes that they hadn’t previously, Carlin said. Additionally, there are fewer electives available for students, fewer field trips, and less new equipment.

The idea of a potential merger was first raised in June, when Schenevus and Worcester school board members attended a presentation by education consultant Alan Pole, in which he explained how the merger process works.

Next, Carlin said, a $50,000 merger study must be completed by both districts to determine if a jointure is viable.  Both districts have applied for a New York State Department grant to cover the cost.

If the grant is awarded in January, the two schools districts will share any additional costs.

The districts have undergone a merger study in the past, but in 1996 chose not to follow through with it. Several years ago the two districts also applied for grant funding for another study, but did not receive it.

When asked about the potential merger, Carlin expressed enthusiasm, at the possibility of “more classes, more electives, and the sports teams would be amazing”.

She said there is already camaraderie among the students: “Schenevus kids are already involved with Worcester kids.” Separated by only five miles, the schools already share a track team.

It’s the adults who might have to be convinced.

“There is a natural resistance to change,” says Tim Gonzales, Worcester Central School superintendent, “an emotional piece you can’t control.”

Should a merger take place, some may think “the community is not what it once was.”

Gonzales said he favors the merger, if the study supports the idea. “We want what’s best for the kids; my intent is to share as much as we can,” he said.

If all goes well, the merger study would begin in February and last nine months.  Merger itself could take as long as two years, as both school boards and both communities would have to vote on the idea.

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