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Reopening Our Schools & Important Updates

For the latest COVID-19-related information and archives, visit our Important Updates webpageARP-ESSER Funding Plan

Sept. 10 visit with “Ground Zero” author inspires and informs students

A virtual visit with an award-winning author has inspired Harry Hoag students to delve into a history-based  novel. They also gained an insider’s view of how a book is researched, organized and written.

On Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, Mrs. Colvin’s fifth grade Guided Reading class participated in a virtual visit with Alan Gratz, the author of “Ground Zero.”

“We learned how long it took Mr. Gratz to research information to write this book,” Colvin said. “He also showed us how he separates all the information he collects and sorts it into the chapters of the book.

“He also talked about the storyline of the book. After Mr. Gratz’s presentation, my students are ready and very excited to start reading ‘Ground Zero’.”

Alan Gratz on video screen talking to students in classroom

Information about “Ground Zero” is posted on Alan Gratz’s webpage.


Meet Harry Hoag’s new teachers

New elementary school teachers are among the new staff at Fort Plain Central School District this fall. Harry Hoag School Principal Lauren Crisman and all at FPCSD extend a warm welcome to:

Stephanie Boyer
Harry Hoag welcomes Stephanie Boyer as a new first grade teacher. Mrs. Boyer earned her master’s degree in education from Utica College. Before joining FPCSD, Mrs. Boyer taught second grade in West Canada Valley CSD. When she’s not working, she enjoys going for a run, lifting weights or spending time with her husband and son.

Ashley Searles
Harry Hoag welcomes Ashley Searles as a new first grade teacher. Mrs. Searles earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from The College of St. Rose. Before joining FPCSD, Mrs. Searles taught kindergarten in Richfield Springs CSD and first grade at Cherry Valley- Springfield CSD. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Searles loves spending time with her three kids and husband while sipping on her favorite drink, iced coffee.

Miranda Dornburgh
Harry Hoag welcomes Miranda Dornburgh as a new music teacher. Ms. Dornburgh earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the College of St. Rose.
Ms. Dornburgh shared with us, “Last year, I filled a long-term music position at my alum where I taught general music. As a college student, you always hope to experience the light behind the student’s eyes when what you were teaching them finally clicks. I experienced that during a 6th grade general music lesson when a student finally got the concept I was teaching. He yelled ‘I love music!’ and jumped out of his seat and did a happy dance. This is why I teach. I want to share my love music and inspire others to love it too.”
Her passion for, and support of, music education made her the ideal candidate to join our FPCSD team.

Shannon Cechnicki
Harry Hoag welcomes Shannon Cechnicki to the team. Ms. Cechnicki has dual certifications in the area of Childhood Education 1-6 and Special Education 1-6. She became a teacher because she loves watching students learn and grow. Prior to joining FPCSD, she taught special education in Johnstown CSD. When she is at home, Ms. Cechnicki enjoys going on hiking trips and attending youth sports with her sons.

Welcome new staff!

Fort Plain Central School welcomes the following new staff to our campuses this school year.

  • Jenna Barhydt, Teacher Aide, High School
  • Stephanie Boyer, Elementary Teacher, 1st Grade, Harry Hoag School
  • Shannon Cechnicki, Special Education Teacher, Harry Hoag School
  • Tariyka Chaulk, Library Media Specialist, District-wide
  • Samuel Cruger, Cleaner, Buildings & Grounds
  • Miranda Dornburgh, Music Teacher, District-wide
  • Kevin Florian, Bus Driver
  • Kayleigh Grimm, Jr./Sr. High School ELA Teacher, High School
  • Rachel Heroth, Educational Technology Specialist, High School
  • Mark Hitchcock, Physical Education Teacher
  • Tim Liebing, Cleaner, Buildings & Grounds
  • Brittney McIntosh, Teacher Aide, High School
  • Bradley Nichols, Bus Driver
  • Eliza Putman, Bus Driver
  • Allison Ramsey, Teacher Aide, High School
  • Ashley Searles, Elementary Teacher, 1st Grade, Harry Hoag School
  • Kimberly Skramko, Teacher Aide, Harry Hoag School
  • Morgan VanAvery, Cleaner, Buildings & Grounds

Some of the staff joined our district during June and July. Additional staff members will be on the agenda for approval at the September Board of Education meeting. Welcome to all!

Welcome to Fort Plain and ParentSquare

A warm welcome to families who are new to our school district this fall. Fort Plain Central School uses a program called ParentSquare to communicate with our students’ parents and guardians. It’s easy to use and keeps our families posted about district and school news, classroom updates and happenings. ParentSquare uses contact information provided by parents and guardians, gives them a choice of when and how to receive messages, and can be easily downloaded as an app.  Read more about ParentSquare.



Harry Hoag Elementary School Supply List

Updated July 27, 2021. Click a link to view the supply lists for your grade level, or scroll below: Pre-Kindergarten | Kindergarten | Grade 1 | Grade 2 | Grade 3 | Grade 4 | Grade 5 | Grade 6 | Ms. Hoos | Ms. Farquharson | Ms. Searles Pre-Kindergarten A full-size book bag that is large enough to hold a folder A … Continue reading “Harry Hoag Elementary School Supply List”

Updated July 27, 2021. Click a link to view the supply lists for your grade level, or scroll below:

Pre-KindergartenKindergartenGrade 1Grade 2Grade 3Grade 4Grade 5Grade 6Ms. Hoos | Ms. Farquharson | Ms. Searles


  • A full-size book bag that is large enough to hold a folder
  • A folder
  • Blanket for naptime in a bag labeled with your child’s first and last name
  • Two sets of extra clothes (tops, bottoms, underwear, socks) in a bag labeled with your child’s first and last name
  • Elmer’s glue bottle
  • Crayola washable markers (10 count)
  • Crayola crayons (small box)
  • Colored pencils (12 count)
  • Crayon/pencil pouch with a zipper

Pre-K Wish list

  • Ziploc bags (gallon and quart size)
  • Tissues
  • Paper towels
  • Dry erase markers

Students will also need a box of crayons and a pencil to complete work on remote (at home) learning days.

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    • $5.00 for crayons, glue, pencil pouch (teacher will purchase these items)
    • 3 PLASTIC folders with fasteners- red, blue and orange
    • Backpack
    • Sneakers
    • A change of clothes
    • A snack and water bottle for themselves every day.

    You do NOT need scissors, spiral notebooks, loose paper or a blanket. We will not be napping in Kindergarten.

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    First Grade

      • 3 Plastic pocket folders
      • 2 Pencil pouches
      • 1 Box of crayons
      • 2 pink wedge erasers
      • 2 glue sticks
      • 1 pair of scissors
      • 1-12 pack of Ticonderoga pencils
      • 1 pack of dry erase markers

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      Second Grade

        • 2 Composition notebooks
        • 3 Pocket folders
        • Crayon box
        • Crayons
        • Colored pencils
        • 10 Sharpened pencils
        • Erasers
        • 2 Glue sticks
        • Small pair of scissors
        • Gallon-size Ziploc Slider bags

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        Third Grade

        • 3 composition notebooks – wide ruled (with child’s name on)
        • 4 pocket folders (with child’s name on)
        • Pencil box – please include the following:
          • Pencils
          • Erasers
          • Dry erase markers
          • Colored pencils
          • Scissors
          • Glue sticks
          • Small pencil sharpener (optional)
          • Headphones or earbuds and travel-size Kleenex/tissues

        In 3rd grade, we do not have snack milk. We will be having snack time every day. It must be a snack they can open independently. Please try to have your child bring in a healthy snack and something to drink (in a bottle that can be closed when not in use). There will be no sharing of snacks.

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        Fourth Grade

        English Language Arts (ELA)

        • 2 composition notebooks
        • 1 folder


        • 1 composition notebook
        • 1 folder


        • 1 folder
        • 1 composition notebook

          General Supplies

          • 2 sturdy take-home folders (plastic)
          • 3 packages of 10-12 pencils
          • 1 pack of colored pencils
          • 1 pack of markers (thin-tip are ideal but not necessary!)
          • 1 pencil bag/small crayon box
          • 1 package of cap erasers
          • Multiple colors of highlighters – 5 colors is ideal
          • 3 glue sticks
          • Scissors (child size)
          • Tape
          • Book Bag

          Wish List Supplies – Optional but helpful!

          • An extra take-home folder
          • 1 pack of fine-tip dry erase markers

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          Fifth Grade

          • 4 folders (Take Home Folder, ELA, Math, combined Science and Social Studies)
          • 1-inch binder (Math)
          • Dry erase markers (Math)
          • Index cards (Math)
          • 1 highlighter (ELA)
          • Loose leaf paper (all classes)
          • Pencils (all classes)
          • Colored pencils (all classes)

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          Sixth Grade


          • 1 pocket folder labeled “ELA” and your name
          • 2 composition notebooks – (one labeled “Writing Workshop” and your name, the other labeled “Reading Workshop” and your name)


          • 1 pocket folder
          • 1 composition notebook
          • 1 three-subject spiral notebook

          Social Studies/Science

          • 1 three subject spiral notebook
          • 2 pocket folders
          • Glue sticks

          General supplies

          • 1 Pocket folder (for a take-home folder)
          • Pencils with erasers
          • Loose leaf paper
          • Colored pencils
          • Assorted markers (not Sharpies)
          • Highlighters
          • Scissors
          • Pencil sharpener
          • Crayons
          • Earbuds/headphones

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          Ms. Hoos

          • Zipper pencil pouch
          • Colored pencils
          • Scissors

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          Ms. Farquharson

          • Pencil Box
          • Folder
          • Crayons
          • Markers
          • Glue sticks
          • Scissors

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          Ms. Searles

          • Colored pencils / crayons
          • 2 glue sticks
          • Pencils
          • Erasers
          • 2 pocket folders

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          Harry Hoag 4th Q Principal’s List & Honor Roll announced

          Congratulations to the following Harry Hoag students for achieving Principal’s List and Honor Roll for the 4th quarter of the 2020-21 school year. Great work!

          Principal’s List

          5th grade
          Alexis Bowley
          Sean McGuire
          Joseph Barr
          Caleigh Bartholomew
          Blake Lapi
          George Mang
          Cristopher Quiroz-Romero
          Elijah Smith
          Daija Suits
          Evan Weaver
          E’nyjah Oldick
          Jordan Gallt
          Brianne Gallt
          Dorian Tracki
          Dio Callan
          Eliyahna Brackett
          Violet Handy
          Elijah Muha

          6th grade
          Kala Clapper
          Mason Gray
          Brayden Hakes
          Hailey Hayes
          Brooke Jones
          Lilly Lapi
          Madison Lewis
          Trent Marriott
          Elle Nare
          Alexis Palmeri
          Zionna Robarge
          Kendra Sackett
          Larry Sanders III
          Silas Smith
          Brady Spaulding
          Riley Spraker
          Kiera St.Louis
          Caitlyn Stephens
          Jordan Thackrah
          Landon VanGorder
          Cheyanne Wall
          Aaliyah Delgado
          Jordyn Best
          Jay Kwasny
          Kaylee Minckler
          Jansheen Haider
          Kayden Battisti
          Levi Hext
          Brodie Poultney
          Sage Smith
          Gamliel Brackett
          Faith Narzymski
          Lyllie Handy
          Nathalieann Hisert
          Dameon Trant
          Trinity Belliveau
          Josiah Darrow
          Jeremy Gebhardt

          Harry Hoag 4th Q Honor Roll

          5th grade
          Sophia Brownell
          Mason Dunbar-Eller
          Sedona Horning
          Lincoln Kretser
          Gabreilla Steinhauer
          Peter Stone IV
          Sawyer Raymond
          Paige Lochner
          Camden Smith
          Xavier Rodriguez

          6th grade
          Gavin Massie
          Ziva Barber
          Keagan Dodson
          Olivia Bailey
          Jonathan Palmeri
          Faith Clark
          Morgan Prime

          Honoring our retirees

          As the school year comes to a close, Fort Plain bids farewell to 10 dedicated employees who are retiring from the district. Collectively, their time here adds up to more than 230 years of service to the school community. Staff and students alike will miss them. Congratulations and best wishes to Mike Cardamone, Nancy Cole, Jean Davis, Bonnie Hanifin, Carol Hecht, Cheryl Lamb, Mary McCall, Loren Miller, Lisa Petty, and Mary VanPatten.

          Mike Cardamone joined the Fort Plain school community as a school bus driver in 2006. He has always demonstrated the highest degree of professionalism, and he takes great pride in his work. Mike has always been able to connect with students of all ages. Most particularly, he has been a positive role model for those high school students who attended HFM BOCES. Mike has delayed his plan to retire for the past several years now, mostly because he didn’t want to leave the students. However, the time has now come. In his retirement he will focus on his personal business and his family.

          Nancy ColeNancy Cole has over 30 years of experience working in the cleaning industry. She has served Fort Plain Central School District since 2017. Nancy is known for her high cleaning standards and team leadership and for her outgoing personality. She has been a wonderful co-worker and friend to many members of the school community. Retirement will not slow her down. She plans to continue working for the town office, engaging in outdoor adventures and spending time with her family. Her positive attitude and high energy will be greatly missed here at Fort Plain.

          Jean Davis

          Jean Davis is a Fort Plain graduate who has worked in the school for 30 years. Friendly, kind and always willing to help, Jean is the one who will try new recipes with the students in Mrs. Petty’s Life Skills class. She is best known for her creativity, whether it is making treats in the classroom or decorating the hallway with festive colorful displays. While Jean is a self-proclaimed homebody who enjoys gardening, she and her husband, Bob, recently bought a trailer. Their travel plans include some trips to Maine to visit their son and his family.

          Bonnie HanifinBonnie Hanifin is retiring after serving Harry Hoag Elementary School for over two decades. Bonnie is an outstanding educator whose contributions to the school community will never be forgotten. Most recently, she served as an interventionist in the area of mathematics. She worked with students of all ages to develop deeper understanding of math concepts and collaborated with her peers to integrate hands-on learning experiences into every classroom. Harry Hoag will miss Bonnie deeply, and we wish her health and happiness in retirement!


          Carol HechtCarol Hecht has been with her Fort Plain family for 12 years. She started in food service, then became the friendly face that greeted everyone when they entered the building at the junior-senior high school. Her kind words, shy smile, patience and willingness to help everyone will be missed. Carol does not have a concrete retirement plan. Long term, she will probably sell her house. She has six children and figures she can stay with each of them for a while. Short term, she wants to visit her son, Joe, who is stationed in Maryland. Carol knew she had to make a change, and she says this is her start.

          Cheryl Lamb is a Fort Plain graduate who has served the Fort Plan Central School District for more than 23 years. She has been a jack-of-all-trades working in the library, classroom, study hall, cafeteria and distance learning lab. Two years ago, Cheryl moved to Caroga Lake where she enjoys the beach life. She says she is still young enough to enjoy herself, and that is exactly what she plans to do. On her first day of retirement, Cheryl plans to take her coffee and chair by the water, dig her toes in the sand and simply enjoy the peace and quiet.

          Mary McCallMary McCall has been a teacher for 33 years. Besides teaching English, Mary is fluent and certified to teach Russian. We are glad she stuck with English because she has fostered a love of reading in her students, but the biggest lessons the students learn do not come from the books they read, but from the life lessons she instills in all of them. Mary teaches with kindness, wisdom and positivity. While Mary says she loves, loves, loves the kids, the COVID-19 pandemic did her in. She is ready for her next journey . . . which includes getting back to writing. Mary is a novelist, publishing her first book, “Secret Vows,” in 2001. She has written eight novels and already has ideas for her next book. Besides writing, Mary and her husband plan to move closer to Delmar to be near her precious granddaughters.

          Loren MillerAs a 28-year veteran, Loren Miller has served Fort Plain with great pride and honor. He has received several letters over the years commending him for his excellent work, safe driving skills and his ability to respond quickly and professionally in any situation. Not only has Loren built many relationships with Fort Plain students, after spending several years driving a school bus that traveled among various Amish school buildings, he is highly respected by the Amish community. In addition to being a school bus driver, Loren spent 15 years working as a member of the building and grounds team. Loren is known for his high cleaning standards and painting skills. In retirement he will enjoy spending time with his partner Sharon and their family.

          Lisa Petty has been a special education teacher in our school for 25 years. Educators run in her family. In fact, this will be the first time in 54 years that there will not be a Petty (Stortecky) working in our district. Lisa’s influence on our school community has been profound. She and the students in her Life Skills classroom have taught us all valuable lessons of acceptance, kindness and giving. Upon retirement, Lisa wants to try to find a hobby, but if she doesn’t that is okay. She will be busy travelling, visiting her boys (especially her grandson) in Houston, Phoenix and Buffalo . . . and hopefully still baking us cookies! Lisa will enjoy her summer with family in South Carolina. She is a season ticketholder for St. Bonaventure athletics and, post pandemic, she is looking forward to going to some games.

          Mary VanPattenMary VanPatten has been our librarian for the past 21 years. Books have been her passion. Whenever anyone needed a book recommendation, Mary was always ready. Through Battle of the Books, she encouraged kids to not only read good books, but win a trophy or two along the way. Mary has created a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere for students, making the library feel like home. She also worked with teachers to create some amazing projects. While Mary does not have grand retirement plans, she is looking forward to quilting, gardening, sleeping late and spoiling her seven grandchildren. She also has 25 years of clutter to get rid of, so keep an eye on eBay for some bargains.

          Kids Eat Free with our summer meals program

          Attention local families: Free breakfast and lunch will be available for all children age 18 and younger through the Kids Eat Free program at Harry Hoag School this summer. The program is provided in cooperation with the USDA, and no registration will be required – just stop in!

          Meals will be provided at Harry Hoag Elementary School as follows:

          • July 6th – August 12th: Monday – Thursday*
          • Site is open for breakfast: 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
          • Site is open for lunch: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
          • To eat free…..just stop in!!
          • This is an open site. All area children and teens are invited to participate, no matter where they live or where they go to school. Join us for nutritious and free meals!

          *Please note: There is also an open meal site at East Hill Elementary in Canajoharie 7/12-8/20, and they are open on Fridays.

          Summer meals program logo

          For more information on this program and its locations, visit


          Fort Plain Central School District and the USDA are equal opportunity employers and providers.

          Important dates for Harry Hoag families

          Dear Harry Hoag families,

          Below is a list of dates for important events to be held in June and a schedule for the final week of school.

          Save the Dates:

          • Field Day will be held on June 11 (Rain date on June 15).
          • Prek Playground Promotion Parties will be held on June 21 and June 22. (More information to come.)
          • Grade 6 Moving Up Ceremony will be held on June 25 at 8:30 am. (More information to come.)
          • Moving Up Day for all students will be held on June 25. (Students will have the chance to meet their teachers for the next year.)

          Final Week Schedule:

          • Monday, 6/21, Full Day
          • Tuesday- Thursday, 6/22-6/24, 11:30 Dismissal
          • Friday, 6/25, 10:00 am Dismissal LAST DAY OF SCHOOL

          I hope you each enjoy a restful Memorial Day weekend!

          Mrs. Crisman

          Creativity, comedy and cool new skills – welcome to Team Tech

          Creativity, comedy and cool new skills: sixth graders in Matt Heiser’s Team Tech group present all of this in their Tech Team video production.

          The video is part newscast, complete with a wild weather forecast; interview show, featuring Mr. Heiser and fellow Harry Hoag Elementary teacher Rob Jenks; and variety show with skits, jokes and how-to segments.

          The students wrote, designed, directed, performed, filmed and produced the Hidden Talents video as a project for Team Tech, an activity where the requirements to participate include being creative, learning and using technology, applying themselves, being open to ideas, and getting their other school work done.

          In past years, students may have produced a printed newspaper instead of a Team Tech video production. Today’s digital tools, however, provide them with even greater opportunity for expression, skill-building and fun.


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