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November 18, 2013

Step Back in Time:

The Daily Star

---- — Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

Nov. 18, 1988

MILFORD — Ask a student or a teacher or an administrator what it’s like to have a new school in Milford. They answer with words like bright, happy, uplifting, cheerful.

On Saturday the Milford community will formally dedicate the new school in a ceremony starting at 2 p.m.

“It’s been great,” said Larry Decker, a Milford eighth grader. Decker, who has always liked school, said the new school is nice because there’s more space. And that makes school more fun, he said.

Like many other Milford students who participated in an essay contest to describe how they felt about the new school, Decker said he was particularly happy to have a theater.

The new school has had an impact on the attitudes of students and teachers alike.

“The whole atmosphere is bright and cheerful,” said Betty Sohacki, the remedial writing teacher. “Everything is new and clean.”

The school, a two-story, L-shaped building finished mainly in colors of cream and rust, cost $6 million. 

Besides an improved atmosphere and more space, the new school overcomes what had been very uncomfortable teaching situations.

In the trailer classrooms behind the old school, a social studies class would be conducted around buckets set to capture rainfall leaking through the roof, according to Superintendent Bruce Burritt.


50 years ago

Nov. 18, 1963

Three new “underground” organizations were recently formed among students in Oneonta High School. Two similar ones have been in operation there for about six years.

All the organizations appear to be harmless on the outside. But occasionally they “have been a major cause of headaches” among school officials, Principal Charles A. Belden reported.

The three new ones are fraternities. The two old ones are sororities. None of them have any official connection with the school or official recognition by school officials. This gives them a sort of “Red China” aspect where school officials are concerned.

Mr. Belden explained that “there is a state law against them” in public school.

Mr. Belden conceded that such organizations “can do some good things. But they can alsocause some emotional upsets,” due to selective admission and to the amounts of money required to retain membership, he said.

First of the new fraternities, Alpha Delta Chi, has about 35 members, led by President Theodore “Ted” Fitzelle.

Ted explained that the group was formed last spring when he and 19 of his friends “decided we could have more fun if we were organized.”

Largest of the fraternities is Alpha Gamma Psi, led by President Richard Condon.

After the exclusion of sophomores by both fraternities, Craig Ritchko, a sophomore,decided to form another group, calling his Alpha Sigma Pi.

The sororities are Tau Phi Epsilon, led by President Diane Farmakis, and Sigma Phi, led by Janice LaMonica.

Recently, Alpha Delta Chi donated $30 to the city-sponsored Youth Center for records. Every year, the sororities contribute sums of money and members’ time to charity projects.