Center Street Elementary School, Oneonta NY

Timeline created by centerstreethistory
  • The Building of Center Street School

    The Building of Center Street School
    Oneonta residents vote 96 to 93 in favor of building Center Street School on the corner of Center Street and Central Avenue. The vote is so close because many residents wanted the new Oneonta school to instead be built on the corner of Church and Walnut Streets.
  • Construction begins...

    Construction begins...
    Construction officially begins on the original Center Street School building. The building, when completed, will cost almost $20,000 and will include a first floor basement, a second floor for classroom space, and a third floor which will serve as both classroom space and an auditorium.
  • Center Street School opens!

    Center Street School opens!
    Center Street School opens for its first day of school...EVER! 350 students are in attendance, significantly more than expected, and an extra teacher has to be added. The first principal is Linda Mead, who also teaches seventh grade; there is no Kindergarten.
  • Lease to the Oneonta Normal School

    Lease to the Oneonta Normal School
    Oneonta residents vote in favor of leasing Center Street School to the Oneonta Normal School, to be used as a teacher - training site. Each classroom teacher is now responsible for instructing student teachers throughout the school year. The Normal School was a beautiful college built at the top of Maple Street, where apartments now stand.
  • New principal

    New principal
    Linda Mead resigns as Center Street School principal due to poor heath, and Miss Addie Hatfield is appointed new principal. She remains until 1914, when replaced by teacher Estella Matteson, who is principal until 1933.
  • Thanksgiving Program

    Thanksgiving Program
    Center Street School 5th and 6th graders present a Thanksgiving program open to the community which includes songs, hymns, and a play. This program becomes an annual tradition for years to come.
  • One Year Closure

    One Year Closure
    Oneonta school board announces one year closure of Center Street School following its end-of-lease to the Oneonta Normal School. Center Street School re-opens its doors to classes on September 5, 1934, with new principal Ava Hall and an entirely new teaching staff.
  • Tributes to Retiring Teachers

    Tributes to Retiring Teachers
    Oneonta Normal School publishes written tributes to longstanding, retiring Center Street teachers Mabelle Boynton (27 years) and Ellen Htchhock (29 years). Both were members of 'The Old Gang,' the self-given nickname to a group of seven teachers who were the entire teaching staff for a remarkable 17 years.
  • Teacher Promotion

    Teacher Promotion
    On August 15,1942, Agnes Williamson, Center Street School teacher of 19 years, is appointed new principal of Bugbee School.
  • Red Cross Program

    Red Cross Program
    Center Street School students are reconized for sending 20 boxes of Christmas gifts to school children in Europe as part of the Oneonta Junior Red Cross Program.
  • Christmas!

    Christmas!
    On December 20,1949, the annual tradition continues of Center Street School hosting a Christmas play for the community featuring songs, plays, band music, and scripture readings by K-6 classes.
  • First Male Principal

    First Male Principal
    On June 10, 1953, The Oneonta City School District Board of Education names Erle Smith as the new Center Street School principal, the first male elementary school principal in Oneonta's history.
  • Principal Ava Hall

    Principal Ava Hall
    On June 19, 1953, Miss Ava Hall retires after 20 years as Center Street School teacher and principal. She was known for her warm and friendly manner, as well as being ready to use a ruler on the knuckles of any student needing discipline!
  • Busing 6th Grade to Valleyview

    Busing 6th Grade to Valleyview
    The decision is made to bus 6th graders to Vallyview School due to overcrowding at Center Street School, a practice which continues for five more years.
  • New Building Addition

    New Building Addition
    On December 3,1961, a Dedication ceremony is held for the community to celebrate the opening of the new building addition, and a time capsule is buried.
  • Earth Week

    Earth Week
    Teacher Angie Nielsen and her 5th grade class begin "Earth Week" events, which include reseeding the front lawn and a school - wide recycling program.
  • Lucille Houck Day

    Lucille Houck Day
    Lucille Houck Day is celebrated in Oneonta. Houck was retiring after almost 40 years as a Center Street School teacher and principal, and NYS Governor Nelson Rockefeller honors her at a school ceremony.
  • Richard Picolla, New Principal

    Richard Picolla, New Principal
    Richard Picolla is chosen as the new principal of Center Street School. He worked formerly as a guidance councelor at Valleyview, Riverside, and St. Mary's Schools. He remains through the 1975 school year.
  • School Board Plan Fails

    School Board Plan Fails
    The Oneonta City School District Board of Education plan to transfer all Center Street School 6th graders to Greater Plains school is cancelled after Center Street parent and board member Rosemary Shea instead proposes a redistricicting plan which keeps Center Street School a K - 6 school.
  • Dorothy Perry principal

    Dorothy Perry principal
    Dorothy Perry becomes the new Center Street School principal at the start of the 1975 school year. She remains through the 1979 school year, when John Higgins takes over the role. He is followed in coming years by Robert Spencer and Joseph Cichello, until John Cook arrives in 1983 and stays for the next 26 years.
  • Celebration of the Bicentennial.

    Celebration of the Bicentennial.
    Center Street School students join the national celebration of the bicentennial, the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independance. Classes participate in a variety of activities.
  • Community Votes For Center Street

    Community Votes For Center Street
    Oneonta residents vote 1,773 to 784 not to close Center Street School despite decling student enrollment. A group of almost 30 Oneonta parents launched a campaign to save the school. This followed similar concerns in May of 1976 that the school would close because of budgetary concerns.
  • John P. Cook, New Principal

    John P. Cook, New Principal
    Mr. John P. Cook starts his 26 years as Center Street School principal. During that time Cook oversees multiple building renovations, integration of technology into classrooms, its 100th anniversary, and the unveiling of a time capsule from the 1960 building.
  • 90th Anniversary

    90th Anniversary
    The 90th anniversary of Center Street School is celebrated, including a parade and tree planting ceremony in nearby Huntington Park.
  • Building Renovation Project

    Building Renovation Project
    A $1.1 million, year long building renovation project is completed. The project included the removal of asbestos from the 1897 building, and so all classrooms are relocated to the gymnasium during this time period.
  • 100th Anniversary

    100th Anniversary
    Conclusion of week long, 100th anniversary celebrations at Center Street School, including the installation of a 'Centennial Wall' display created by students.
  • View From The Schoolhouse

    View From The Schoolhouse
    The book "A View From The Schoolhouse: a picture postcard history of Oneonta" is published, researched and written by teacher Ron Whalen and the Center Street School Young Yorkers. The book features postcards and photos of historic Oneonta landmarks, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Center Street School.
  • Local Artist Creates Mural

    Local Artist Creates Mural
    Oneonta artist Cynthia Marsh installs hand painted murals representing Math, Science, History, and Literature above the school entranceway. Two smaller versions are also displayed inside the school - can you find them?
  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

    Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
    A ribbon cutting ceremony is held for the newly constructed front playground, featuring Senator James Seward, who helped to fund the project which was driven by the school PTO.
  • Property of Merit Award

    Property of Merit Award
    Center Street School is awarded the annual Property of Merit Award, in the 'Historic' category, by the Daily Star newspaper and the Future of Oneonta Foundation.
  • 4th Graders Visit Ellis Island

    4th Graders Visit Ellis Island
    Annual tradition begins of 4th grade classes taking field trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, as part of their study of immigration.
  • Teacher Ron Whalen

    Teacher Ron Whalen
    The Oneonta community mourns the passing of Ron Whalen, Center Street School teacher of 33 years. Whalen initiated the Center Street School Young Yorkers, a group of students who researched and helped to create numerous books celebrating Oneonta history.
  • Photo History of Center Street School

    Photo History of Center Street School
    A school ceremony is held to present the newly created book "A Photo History of Center Street School" made by the 4th grade library class.
  • "History of Center Street School" video

    "History of Center Street School" video
    "History of Center Street School" Video The premier showing of the "History of Center Street School: Our Neighborhood, Our Home" movie is held on the evening of June 15th. The video, created by the 4th grade library class, features on-camera interviews with various, former students and teachers.
  • Acts of Kindness

    Acts of Kindness
    "Kindness" Facebook Page Teacher Colleen Andrew begins a Facebook page with her 2nd grade class dedicated to motivating people worldwide to perform acts of kindness. To date, almost 17,000 people have "Liked" the page.
  • Trailblazer award

    Trailblazer award
    Recently retired Center Street School teacher Doreen Sosa receives City of Oneonta Trailblazer award at City Hall. Sosa taught at the school for 20 years.
  • Time Capsule

    Time Capsule
    On the morning of March 8th, a 50-year old time capsule is retrieved from behind the 1960 datestone. The time capsule goes on display, inviting students to guess at its contents, until they are revealed months later.
  • School Birthday Party

    School Birthday Party
    "School Birthday" Presentation by Grade 4 An evening ceremony is held to celebrate the 50th birthday of the 1960 building, the 113th birthday of the 1897 building, and the retirement of principal John Cook. The 1960 time capsule contents are revelaed, Senator James Seward presents a proclamation in honor of the school's history, and mayor Dick Miller announces "John P. Cook Day."
  • Coleen Lewis, New Principal

    Coleen Lewis, New Principal
    This marks the first day of school for new principal, Mrs.Coleen Lewis, a former Oneonta teacher and librarian.
  • Time Capsule Reburied

    Time Capsule Reburied
    The recently unearthed, 50 - year - old time capsule is reburied behind the 1960 datestone, to be reopened by students of 2060. The original contents are returned to the time capsule, along with a variety of new materials provided by current Center Street School students and teachers.
  • Ceremony at Applebee's

    Ceremony at Applebee's
    A Ceremony is held at the Oneonta Applebee's restaurant to donate and dedicate a Center Street School shadowbox, designed and funded by the 4th grade library class. A similar shadowbox is also displayed at school.
  • International Walk to School Day

    International Walk to School Day
    Center Street School staff, students, and parents participate in International Walk to School events by starting the school day at Wilber Park, then walking to school in celebration of our heritage as a neighborhood school. Mayor Dick Miller and NYS Senator James Seward also participate.
  • Budget Cuts Threaten School

    Budget Cuts Threaten School
    Plan is announced by Oneonta City School District to address budget concerns by possibly closing Center Street School. May 15th school budget vote to provide voters with opportunity to vote on budget and additional proposition, which would keep the school open.
  • Historical Timeline

    Historical Timeline
    4th grade library class completes online timeline showing the long and interesting, 115-year history of Center Street Elementary School. Students worked on this project as part of their NYS-mandated study of local history. They did a great job!
  • Budget Vote Closes Center Street School

    Budget Vote Closes Center Street School
    Voters End Classes at Center Street School On a historically significant day for the Oneonta community, voters chose to close Center Street School rather than pay a tax increase to keep it open. The vote was 1,901 - 726. The end of an era had arrived...
  • End of an Era

    End of an Era
    The last day of classes at Center Street Elementary School, as students, staff, and families conclude a week of fun-filled, bittersweet "Pandapalooza" events...
  • Period: to

    Center Street Elementary School, 1897 to the Present