County agency to honor youths

JOHNSTOWN – Plans are under way for the Fulton County Youth Bureau’s 12th Annual Youth Recognition Reception on May 23 at the Johnstown Senior Citizens Center.

County Office for Aging Director Andrea Fettinger, bureau administrator, said Thursday the event will run from 5 to 8 p.m.

She said the guest speaker will be Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger.

The reception recognizes outstanding high school students for school and community achievements. Leading By Example Award plaque winners are initially nominated by officials from their schools, but finalists are chosen by the bureau advisory board.

Fettinger said invitations were sent to the school officials who nominate possible recipients to be honored at the reception.

“We’re in the process of picking the folks,” she said.

She said all six of Fulton County’s high schools – Gloversville, Johnstown, Mayfield, Broadalbin-Perth, Northville and Oppenheim-Ephratah – have been asked to nominate outstanding students. She said the hope is to get at least one award nominee from each school, but there could be multiple nominees.

“If there’s two great ones from each school, the committee will look it over,” Fettinger said.

The event used to involve a formal banquet, but it was scaled down in 2012 because of fiscal constraints brought on by cuts in state aid to the bureau. The bureau has also gone through some changes, effective Jan. 1. The county position of Youth Bureau director was eliminated and youth services are now administered by Fettinger at her OFA building on North William Street.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Tuesday not much of the bureau has changed other than Fettinger taking over its administration. But he said the bureau continues to go through a transition period in 2013.

Fettinger, paid an annual $4,000 stipend for additional bureau responsibilities, responded “so far, so good” when asked about the transition.

She noted the volunteer bureau advisory board – led by Chairman John Baker – meets again at 4 p.m. Monday at the OFA.

Broadalbin Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee, said Fettinger has done a good job thus far “organizing things” with the bureau.

“I think it’s gone really smoothly,” he said. “She’s learning.”

Michael Anich can be reached at