The Cooperstown Central School has selected a new elementary school principal. 

The Cooperstown Board of Education unanimously appointed Tracy Durkee as the new principal at Cooperstown Elementary School on Wednesday, May 27, during a meeting held on Zoom. 

According to a media release, Durkee has been an educator for 27 years, including the past year at Morrisville-Eaton Central School as secondary principal. She served most of her career as an elementary school teacher in grades one, three and five.

“I am extremely zealous about educating youth, and I am prepared to help contribute my knowledge to maximize student achievement,” Durkee said in a media release.

Durkee earned a master's degree in education with a concentration in reading from SUNY Cortland, where she also earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education.

A “virtual reception” will be held in Ms. Durkee’s honor, and will be announced at a later time. The Zoom invitation will be publicized through social media and on the Cooperstown Central School website. 

Durkee will replace Ann Meccariello, who had been the elementary school principal since 2015. Meccariello will be shifted to principal of the middle/high school, replacing Kristen Butler.

Butler resigned to spend more time with her family, effective at the end of the school year.

The district held a virtual public hearing for its 2020-2021 budget Wednesday, with Superintendent William Crankshaw presenting the budget and answering questions via Zoom. 

The school's budget will stay flat for the year, at $19,804,875. The administration budget is up 1.27% from last year, at $2,009,414. The program budget is up 0.49% from last year, at $14,612,027. The capital budget is down 2.94% from last year, at $3,093,434.

The proposed tax levy is up 1.37% or $168,686 from last year, which will raise a total of $12,454,053. That percentage is under the state cap and will require a majority vote in order to pass. The ballot will also have a bus lease agreement for three buses, which Crankshaw said will cost about $11,000 per bus per year, after state aid is figured in. 

Crankshaw said state aid will total about $6 million, but the district is prepared to make cuts if the state aid is cut. He said the Board of Education has anticipated the state cutting 10% to 20% based on projections from Albany, and has identified similar cuts to make, but he said the cuts would not come from the programming budget. 

In addition, Crankshaw said the district will not cut any sports in 2020-2021. Earlier in the year, the board considered cutting football, combining girls and boys swimming and other athletic department changes, but instead identified other cuts that could be made in the athletic budget. 

Two school board members, Gillian Spencer and Board President Tim Hayes, are up for re-election unopposed. 

After being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the school voting will take place by absentee ballots. All ballots must be received by 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 9. Crankshaw said the ballots will be tallied by school officials and results should be announced that night.

Absentee ballots can be requested until Friday, May 29, by contacting District Clerk Wendy Lansing at 607-547-5364, by email at or faxing 607-547-5100.

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