Superintendent of Cooperstown schools killed in ATV crash, classes cancelled

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Monday was a very sad day for the Cooperstown school community as they grieved the loss of their superintendent, C.J. Hebert.

It was a very somber day for the school community. Classes were cancelled Monday, and crisis counselors were made available following the tragic news. Flags are flying at half-staff as everyone mourns Hebert’s sudden loss, and those that knew him called him “a great man to work with.”

Family members said Hebert was riding his ATV Sunday afternoon between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. and his wife, Tammy, never saw him come back. That’s when Cobleskill police arrived at his home on Patrick Road in Richmondville after they received word of a possible ATV accident.

A command center was set up near his home, and roads were closed off as police investigated. Around 3 a.m., police found the 51-year old dead from an apparent accident in a big wooded area.

NEWS10 ABC knocked on the doors of his home, and Tammy said they are grieving and are in shock.

The family released this statement:

The Family of CJ Hebert is shocked and saddened by this sudden and tragic loss. CJ’s career as an educator and leader has touch the lives of countless students faculty and community members throughout the region. His wife Tammy and children Cliff, Chris, Christina and their family are grieving his loss and appreciate the sympathy and expressed by so many. Family appreciates their privacy at this time. Arrangements will be forthcoming.

NEWS10 ABC report Carmen Chau spoke with a principal who worked closely with Hebert. He said news of the superintendent’s death has been difficult to take.

“We’re still in shock and processing it,” 7-12 Building Principal Michael Kring said. “I worked very closely with Mr. Hebert for the last six years as superintendent and building principal what we typically do in districts. Our offices are right across the hall from each other.”

All that’s left now is what people remember him by.

“I consider him as someone that’s, professionally, just very knowledgeable, bright, ethical, and a visionary, and more important to myself, a friend,” Kring continued. “He’s able with his leadership, as what we’ve always considered to be, a very good district and a vision to continue to have an initiative to prove the types of things we do for our students.”

Classes and student activities will continue on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the district will work on finding a temporary superintendent.

Tammy is an assistant superintendent at Windham-Ashland-Jewett School Distirct. In her husband’s memory, she will continue to be a leader for students – just what he would have done himself. A vigil is planned to take place at 5 p.m.

COOPERSTOWN CENTRAL SCHOOL

Superintendent Passes Away Over the Weekend

It is with great sadness the Cooperstown Central School District Board of Education announces that Superintendent C.J. Hebert passed away tragically over the weekend.
Hebert had served as superintendent since 2010.

All classes for Monday, March 21 have been cancelled. Crisis counseling is available at the school district today for staff members and students. Regular school activities will resume Tuesday, March 22 and counseling will also be available for students during the school day.
“This was a great loss to Cooperstown Central School District. C.J. brought significant, positive change to Cooperstown over the last six years,” Board President Theresa Russo said. “We have lost a strong leader and a good friend. Our thoughts are with C.J.’s family at this time.”
The Cooperstown Central School District Board of Education met Monday morning and will convene regularly throughout this week to move forward on a short-term plan for district supervision. Day-to-activities will proceed on schedule for students Tuesday and regular operations of the district will continue.
For more information, contact: Jake Palmateer, 518-496-2199, jpalmateer@cooperstowncs.org

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