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Watertown Hall of Achievement nominations postponed

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Well-regarded Watertown High School alumni will have to wait until next year to be recognized by their alma mater.

Because of the deluge of state and national initiatives this year, Watertown City School District Superintendent Terry N. Fralick said, the Hall of Achievement nomination process will have to wait until next fall.

Previously, he said he hoped to have a committee formed after the holidays to look through nominees.

“We have got so much going on in this district right now,” he said during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. “I would prefer, with your graciousness, if we postponed it to next fall.”

Board members did not comment about this at the meeting.

Since the district’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Achievement was initiated in 2001, inductions have taken place in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2010. The first Hall of Achievement chairman, Rande S. Richardson, said the purpose was to give students positive role models.

Forty-three Watertown High graduates — including Hollywood actor Viggo Mortensen; former U.S. Rep. John M. McHugh, now secretary of the Army; and retired archaeologist Bruce E. Rippeteau — already have been memorialized in the wall display housed at Case Middle School.

In addition to filing new teacher evaluation plans, updating the code of conduct to fit the Dignity for All Students Act and implementing new testing standards this year, the district is looking for a new high school principal to replace Lloyd L. Peck. Mr. Peck resigned in June to become superintendent at Chenango Forks Central School District.

When the nomination process begins again, Mr. Fralick said, a new committee consisting of himself, the district clerk, a board member and community volunteers will be formed.

“We just simply don’t have time right now,” he said.

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