Odyssey of the Mind regional competition postponed locally

A second grade Odyssey of the Mind team performs a skit about Johnstown for the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education last April at Johnstown High School. The large Regional 21 Odyssey of the Mind set to held Saturday has been postpone over concerns about the coronavirus. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Organizers of a planned, large Region 21 Odyssey of the Mind competition Saturday at Johnstown High School has been postponed because of coronavirus concerns.

Organizers Kristin Meashaw and Quinn Swartwout send out a message Wednesday to the Johnstown OM teams and parents announcing the postponement.

The message reads: “It is with great disappointment that we write this message. Our area district superintendents made the decision earlier today not to allow this weekend’s competition to take place due to the threat of the coronavirus. Even though there are no confirmed cases, superintendents felt it would be wrong to hold an event this large. We have as many questions as you as to what this means for our teams. As of right now, this is not a cancellation, but possibly a postponement. We are working with Dave Floyd and all of our region coordinators to do what is best for all of our students.”

The message adds: “Do not destroy props and skit materials. We will update you as soon as we have a definite plan.”

Greater Johnstown School District Superintendent Karen Geelan also sent out this letter on Wednesday: “Earlier today the superintendents of the component districts of HFM BOCES, District Superintendent Dr. [David] Ziskin, and county health officials met to discuss regional concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, especially as it pertains to our regional school districts.”

“At this time, in an abundance of caution the OM competition is postponed,” Geelan wrote. “None of the superintendents will be sending teams, and we are advised not to host the OM competition this weekend. It is our hope that the event can be postponed to a later date, when we will be able to reassess the virus situation. We know how much time and work has gone into the preparation for this competition, and sending this to you is as much a disappointment to us as it will be to the OM students, coaches and families. Thank you for understanding.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Kerry Minor

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