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Keep the traditions alive!

Welcome to the home page

of the

Oneida City School District Foundation

Use the links above to see what our volunteer Board of Trustees has been doing on behalf of OCSD Alumni, students, and teachers!


It was a wonderful evening on September 24th as we honored the 2022 OCSD Foundation's

Wall of Distinction inductees.

Pictured  l to r:  Robert Moher, Terry Yardley, Elizabeth "Penny" Zebley with Barry's plaque, Cheri Matzke with Leo's plaque, 

David McKenas, M.D., M.P.H., and Sue Jones, daughter of Ron Jones, with his plaque.

Our 2022 Wall of Distinction Inductees


Barry Zebley (posthumously honored) OCSD        David McKenas, M.D., M.P.H., was born and raised

Social Studies educator and Department Chair      in Oneida. A musical prodigy, he went on to a career

who served the district for 36 years.                        in the medical profession, working for NASA and American Airlines.

                                                                                 David was instrumental in having defibrillators and advanced medical

                                                                                  equipment on all US commercial airplanes.


Ronald Jones was a 1947 graduate of OHS. He      Robert Moher, OHS 1970, rose through the ranks at Oneida Ltd. Silversmiths to lead        

went on full scholarship to Yale, and earned his       their Retail Sales Division as Marketing Director. He started his own design and

law degree at Harvard. His focus was energy and    marketing business and counts the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY, the Rome 

environmental law.                                                     Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Utica Sports Hall of Fame, among his well

He will be posthumously honored.                             -known actualized designs.



Terrance "Terry" Yardley, OHS 1970, distinguished        Leo Matzke will also be posthumously honored. He was an

himself in both the classroom and the athletic fields.         elementary classroom teacher  for 30 years, director of the Madison Co.

He returned to the OCSD as a Social Studies teacher.      Children's Camp, and a multi-sport coach. He served the City of Oneida

and coach for several sports, retiring in 2009.                    as a Councilman for 20 years, and as Mayor for 3 terms.


                       Whom would YOU like to see honored on the Wall of Distinction for 2023?

                                       Nominating applications, available on this site, will be accepted beginning Feb. 2023



 2022 Senior Scholarship Awardees


                   Rose Barris                Dylan Bartell


                  Kaylin Curro                   Grace Davis


                   Madeline Harris      Hannah Myatt


                                                                      Seth O'Connell


Each senior will receive a $1000 check from the Foundation upon successful completion of their first college

semester. We celebrate these exceptional young people, and wish them continued success in the future!   



                    Our 2021 Wall of Distinction Honorees

The Foundation held the 2021 Induction Dinner on Saturday, September 25th, 2021

at Theodore's Restaurant on Rt. 5, Canastota. The following were the honorees:


             Erik Blowers, OHS Class of 1983                                                Eric "Rick" Moyer, OHS Class of 1957




    Anne Gardulski, Ph.D, OHS Class of 1973                      Donald W. Hudson, OHS Class of 1974

                                                                                               (posthumously honored)



                  David T. Clancy, OCSD Elementary Principal                             Frank Perretta, OHS Class of 1961                                                      (posthumously honored)                                                                    



The OCSD Foundation is pleased to announce the 2021 OHS Senior Scholarship recipients. Thank you to all who have donated in support of our  efforts to continue to make these scholarships available to our deserving students.

Our first senior to be featured is Mayson Earl, son of Jason and Carrie Earl.

He will be attending Clarkson University in the fall and plans to major in Civil Engineering. Congratulations and best wishes for continued success, Mayson!


See our Scholarship page for additional recipients.


Donations to the OCSD Foundation are always welcome!

See the Donate button at the bottom of each page to facilitate your generosity!




Previous OHS Senior Scholarship Awardees are highlighted on our Scholarships page.

  Congratulations to All OHS graduates, and Best Wishes for continued success!



The Alumni Brick Garden recently was recently spruced up by Board members

Ralph Shortell, Pat Johnson, and Pam Lynch. 

See photos of before and after by clicking on the  Alumni Brick Garden link.



2019 Events

 Thanksgiving Day 2019 was the inaugural Turkey Trot, Roll, and Stroll sponsored by the OCSD Foundation! There were 107 enthusiastic participants of all ages, supported by volunteers from various organizations including the OHS Z Club, Foundation Board members, the Oneida City Water Department, Oneida City Police, and Superintendent Zehr and family. Donated canned goods filled seven large boxes and were distributed to seven food pantries in Oneida and nearby communities. Funds raised will go towards supporting student scholarships and classroom grants funding.

Trophy winning runners included student Nate Jennings, Dakota Corney, and Mary Jane Roberts. Costume winners were student Drew Hicks and OLAF (who was that masked snowman??) Organizer Ginny Pendleton was all decked out as Turkey-in-Charge!

Thanks to Ginny Pendleton, OCSD Foundation Board member, for organizing this event! Thanks to OCSD Foundation board member, Ralph Shortell, for taking photos!






The OCSD Foundation is pleased to announce and extend our congratulations to the 2019 Wall of Distinction inductees who were honored on September 28th :


***************** Start thinking now of other deserving individuals*************

(alumni, retirees, community members) to nominate for the Wall of Distinction in 2020!


The Foundation has granted each of the District's schools for the 2019-20 school year $500 in funding for individual building initiatives and programming. Principals worked with their staffs to submit creative ideas for how best to utilize the funding. Pictured below are some of the principals who recently attended the awards reception at OHS and thanked the Foundation for its support:


(l to r): Seneca St. Elementary Principal, Penny Houser, North Broad St. Elementary Principal, Eric Coriale,                              

Durhamville Elementary Principal, Peg Visalli, Willard Prior Elementary Principal, Moira Yardley



In recognition that the children of our community are our most precious asset, the Oneida City School District Education Foundation is established as a not-for-profit corporation to provide a school program which is superior to that which could be provided if the district were solely dependent on public financing.

The Mission of this Foundation is to solicit donations and bequests from alumni, individuals, and business entities, and to promote special events to raise funds, generate awareness of the Foundation's purposes, and to develop alumni goodwill, in order to accrue funds for the purpose of awarding classroom grants and student scholarships to:

1) enhance existing programs which can be improved by additional private sector financing;

2) finance school projects that are consistent with approved school district programming but require            funding beyond the capabilities of the district budget;

3) reward the district's students with financial assistance for higher education;

4) build an endowment fund that can generate substantial income; and 

5) preserve and promote school spirit within the Oneida City School District


Proposals for grants will be accepted from all affiliated groups and individuals of any Oneida City School District school.

Applications for scholarships will be accepted from seniors of Oneida High School.

Our objectives are to provide superior school programs, to award grants to groups, teachers, and students, and to build an endowment for future use.

The Foundation commits itself to working to meet the challenges of ensuring continued excellence in education for the Oneida School District's children of today and tomorrow.


Do you have a class member, former teacher, coach, counselor, or community member who is deserving of induction to the

OCSD Foundation's Wall of Distinction?

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 Wall of Distinction. The Wall of Distinction honors OHS graduates, retirees, and community members who have made a lasting and positive difference through excellence in their chosen careers, dedicated service to the district, and/or  support of the goals and initiatives of the Oneida City School District.  Who would you like to see honored in 2022?  Click the W of D tab at the top of the page to access the nomination form.

To obtain tickets to the Wall of Distinction Dinner please contact Lori Cimpi at 315-361-6072. Tickets are $30 each. The dinner will be held in Saturday, September 24, 2022.

 Attention area businesses and individuals:

The Foundation will not be holding the annual golf tournament this year. We are currently exploring other community-oriented fundraising ideas.  If you, or someone you know, may be interested in supporting our upcoming 2022 Wall of Distinction Induction Dinner  please contact Lori Cimpi at 315-361-6072. There are several levels of sponsorship available:

  • Platinum   $1000
  • Gold              500
  • Silver            250
  • Bronze          100
  • Orange           50
  • Blue                25
  • Friend             10

All contributions are tax deductible. Thank you for your consideration! 


2018 Wall of Distinction Alumni Induction Dinner

Pictured above: Elizabeth LaLonde, accepting her husband,Roger's posthumous award, Susanne Miller, Tom Rasely, Frank Melena's children accepting their father's posthumous award, Ralph Shortell

The OCSD Foundation's 7th Annual Wall of Distinction Dinner was held on Saturday, September 29, 2018 @ Theodore's Restaurant (the former Rusty Rail Party House), 3231 Seneca Turnpike, Canastota NY 13032.  Thanks once again  to our major sponsor for this very special event:  Allen Eye Associates.

Inductees for the 2018 Wall of Distinction were:


  Roger LaLonde, OHS 1961 (posthumously)

  Frank Melena, OHS 1949 (posthumously)


   Susanne Miller, OHS Retiree 1991



  Thomas Rasely, OHS 1968



  Ralph M Shortell, OHS 1962


************OHS ALUMNI NEWS****************OHS ALUMNI NEWS******     

"Attention Class of 1998- your 20th reunion is approaching, please check out our Alumni Page to see if your name is listed as being on our Lost Alumni Data. If your name is on the listing please fill out the online data form with your current information. We don't want you to miss out on your 20th reunion!" For any information regarding the class of 1998's class reunion please email:       

Jackie Wallace at jacwallace79@gmail.com.




Wall of Distinction Inductees and Representatives, Saturday, September 30th, 2017

2017 Wall of Distinction inductees and representatives

Pictured from L to R:  Richard (husband) and daughter, Anika Willis, with plaque honoring Anna Cryvoff Willis, Judy Elton Bleeker (mother) and Kaiya Maclay (Jessica's daughter), with plaque honoring Jessica Shackleton Maclay, Sandra Whalen Aylesworth, Mary Ann Huntley, Gerald Leone, Paul Cleary, Ryan Alder (son) with plaque honoring his father, Dennis Alder, James Nixdorf (brother) with plaque honoring Mary Jo Nixdorf, and Pamela Vogan Lynch


 2017 Wall of Distinction Inductees 

Captain Dennis M. Alder, USCG, OHS Class of 1970

 Dr. Mary Ann Huntley,OHS Class of 1982

Jessica Shackleton Maclay, OHS Class of 1998 (posthumously)

Sandra Whalen Aylesworth, OHS Class of 1955 and OCSD Physical Education Instructor, retired 

Anna Cryvoff Willis, OHS Class of 1961 (posthumously)

Mary Jo Nixdorf, OHS Class of 1956

Pamela Vogan Lynch, OCSD Art Instructor and Director of Art, retired

Gerald Leone, OHS Class of 1982

Paul E. Cleary, OHS Class of 1970


Our 2016 Wall of Distinction Induction

Pictured L to R:  OCSD Foundation President Tarie Dick with plaque posthumously honoring inductee Marion Awad Cierek, Commandant James Ransom of the Dept. of NYS Marine Corps Leaque with Lt. General Michael Dana's plaque, inductee Mary Kate Cavanagh Rolf, inductee John Elberson, inductee Dr. Howard Loughlin, inductee Thomas Merrell, inductee Jeffery Eastman, Theresa Phillips with plaque posthumously honoring inductee Ruth Anne Schultz

Thanks to Allen Eye Associates for being our main sponsor for this wonderful event!  

It was a special evening, indeed!

 (Select Wall of Distinction 2016 Album page above for photos from that special evening!)

Thank you to all who participated in and/or donated to our annual

OCSD Foundation Golf Tournament, held May 21,2016 at

Kanon Valley Golf and Country Club

Your support and generosity are greatly appreciated! A big thank you to Community Bank N.A. for being our major sponsor this year!

(see photos from this event under Golf Tournament link at top of page)


 Proceeds from the Foundation's fundraising events help to fund the student scholarships and innovative classroom grants given each year. Remember, all donations to  the OCSD Foundation are tax deductible to the extent of the law.

(While you are on our site, please check out the Alumni page above and send any updates that you may have using the email contact information on that page.)


Do YOU know of a former classmate, teacher, community member who should be nominated to the OCSD Foundation Wall of Distinction? You may download a nomination form  from the Wall of Distinction link at the top of the page. See criteria below:

 Nominees are selected from applications submitted and must meet one of more of the following criteria to be considered for inclusion:

  • An OHS graduate (10 or more years ago) who has made significant contributions to society through his/her life work
  • An OCSD retired teacher or staff member (5 or more years ago) who has/had a positive impact on the lives of others through dedicated and exemplary service
  • A community member who has enthusiastically volunteered his/her time and talent to support the goals and initiatives of the OCSD


 2016 Wall of Distinction Fall Inductees

Marion Awad Cierek, OHS 1945 (posthumously awarded)

Dr. Howard Loughlin, OHS 1962

Jeffrey Eastman, OHS 1970

Thomas Merrell, OHS 1971

Ruth Anne Schultz, OHS 1971 (posthumously awarded)

Lt. Gen.Michael Dana,USMC, OHS 1978

Mary Kate Cavanagh Rolf, OHS 1988

John Elberson, OHS 1991



Follow links above to access photos from past induction events  

 The 2015 honorees for the
       Wall of Distinction
Herbert Brewer, OHS 1948
Keith Johnson, OHS 1955
James McLaughlin, OHS 1962
James Casella, M.D., OHS 1968
Larry Carello, Captain, USN, retired, OHS 1969
Patricia Hornyak LaPier, OHS 1971
Deborah Dunn, OHS 1981
    "Gallahad" presented to OHS Library by family of Charles Newton Hunter, OHS 1925  


           Sara Hunter Baird, daughter of Charles Newton Hunter, OHS 1925, presents a copy of "Gallahad", a book he authored, to the OHS library on a recent visit to Oneida on May 7th, 2015. She and other family members made the trip to view her father's plaque on the Wall of Distinction. Charles Newton Hunter was the commanding officer of the 5307 Composite Unit Provisional, "Merrill's Marauders", WW II. He was a 2014 posthumous inductee to the Wall of Distinction.

Pictured in back row from left to right:  Michel DeBottis, President of the OCSD Foundation Board, Barbara and husband, Dick Hunter (nephew of C.N. Hunter), OCSD Trustee Ralph Shortell ( who coordinated the induction and subsequent visit). Hunter was originally nominated for the honor by the late David Alvord.

 Front row: OCSD Superintendent Ron Spadafora, OHS librarian, Zoe Hicks, Sara Hunter Baird, her neice, Nita Amar

  What a wonderful night of celebration at the 2014 Wall of Distinction Induction Dinner! Click here for photos from the September 27, 2014 event !  Do YOU know of a special person who should be honored on the  2016 Wall of Distinction? Forms are available on this site, the Oneida CSD website, and also from Lori Cimpi, at OHS.

Use links above to access necessary forms.

(See Events link for the list of the 2014 honorees)

The OCSD Foundation is a nonprofit organization (501(c)(3). Your donations to support our mission to provide student scholarships and classroom grants, are therefore, tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You may also designate a specific purpose or project such as the Alumni Brick Garden or Wall of Distinction Dinner to support with your contributions.

We are still looking for "lost" Alumni Members!
Please check out our Alumni Page  and update us where needed!! 

  The original Foundation Plaque on the site of the OCSD Brick Garden

The Oneida City School District Foundation complements the Oneida City School District in its effort to provide a quality education for all students. To accomplish this, additional resources from the private sector are needed to enhance and enrich the current program. The OCSD Foundation is established to provide opportunities that could not be offered if they were solely dependent on public financing. 

Join us in building an endowment fund that can generate substantial income and foster a strong school spirit within the Oneida community because...Success is our tradition!

How is the Foundation funded?

  • Alumni contributions: Click our "Donate" button found at the bottom of every page on our website to donate for Alumni Brick Garden, Student Scholarships and/or Teacher Grants.(please specify, for which fundraiser you are donating ). Donations are tax deductible.
  • Approaching other foundations for support
  • Developing an "Alumni Garden" with bricks to honor graduates, teachers, staff, parent and community members
  • Local business & industry
  • Special fund-raising projects (Annual Golf Tournament, Wall of Distinction Dinner)
  • Establishing an Endowment

How is the Foundation administered?

  • A Board of Trustees, comprised of a large percentage of alumni, administers the Foundation
  • Officers are elected from the Board of Trustees.
  • By-laws and Not-For-Profit incorporation provide guidelines for its administration

What kinds of projects will the Foundation support?

  • Instructional programs
  • Grant requests
  • Scholarships, offered to students who reflect the Foundation's mission
  • Equipment purchase
  • Technology
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Lecture and Cultural activities
  • After school programs

©2013 Oneida City School District Foundation
All Rights Reserved