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July 13, 2013

New Walton superintendent had 'good memories' of area

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star

---- — Newly appointed Walton Superintendent Roger B. Clough II was a finalist for the same spot at the Oneonta City School District. He is familiar with the area because his father was the business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 2032. This included five different electric generating plants, including one in Schoharie County. As a child he stayed in the area while visiting. 

“We went there many times and I always had good memories,” Clough said.  

Clough was a laborer at a nuclear power plant as he was deciding on a career. It was while working as a support investigator for Oneida County in 1994 that he decided he wanted to commit to education. He would go into homes to check on children but felt as a teacher he could do more for them. 

While there have been wins and losses, “That was the right decision,” he said.

He has helped provide programs that have made a difference, including increasing the graduation rate. At Walton that rate is 87-percent. While that is good, it can always be improved. He is hoping that using some of the ideas that worked while he was superintendent at Massena Central School for five years, will help Walton students that need extra support to do better, he said.

 

An interview with John Astin, star of television’s “The Addams Family,” who will be appearing at SUNY Delhi for a one-man show on Saturday, found the actor and teacher was very generous with his time.

Astin spoke passionately about his teaching efforts at his alma mater, John Hopkins University. He started that 12 years ago. As an alumnus he felt it needed a theater program and is teaching a double schedule to achieve that goal.

Part of Saturday’s show evolved from his one-man Edgar Allan Poe show, which Astin said he had to give up because of his teaching activities. As much as he loved that show, he wanted to make sure the theater program worked, he said. 

Astin credits the actor Tony Randall for his help in a career in films. He noticed him in Charles Laughton’s production of “Major Barbara” and helped get his career going in Hollywood. Besides his role of Gomez, other memorable moments in his career include his Poe show, playing Vladimir in a New York production of “Waiting for Godot,” and playing the title role in “Evil Roy Slade.”

 

In announcing the start of the pilot program that included New York as one of four states selected by the USDA to provide Greek yogurt to students, Sen. Charles Schumer detailed his efforts on the issue. 

In January, he successfully petitioned the USDA about the effort, he said in a media release. In a letter to Schumer, the USDA committed to initiating a pilot program. The Farm Service Agency then released a request for information Jan. 31 to gather information from potential vendors. Respondents indicated capacity to produce such yogurt in a variety of pack sizes and flavors and the four states were chosen. States were permitted to order any quantity of high protein yogurt they desired for delivery from September to November within the balance of their USDA foods entitlement. The states’ orders for this period total 199,800 pounds of yogurt.

On July 8, USDA issued a solicitation to vendors to supply the states’ orders. Bids are due July 22 and FSA expects to evaluate the bids and make awards by the end of July. If it is found successful in the four states selected, this could become a permanent part of the foods that USDA offers to purchase for schools nationwide. If successful, it would be a boon for the largely New York-based Greek yogurt industry, including companies like Chobani, Fage, Alpina, and the newly-opened Muller Quaker, and others throughout New York, Schumer said. In addition, because Greek yogurt requires more milk than regular yogurt, state dairy farmers would also benefit, he said.

Mark Boshnack can be reached at 432-1000, ext. 218, or mboshnack@thedailystar.com.