Return to Headlines

State Senator Joseph Griffo Joins Zoom Meeting for Creative Content Production Class

students on zoom with senator griffoOn April 12, New York State Senator Joseph Griffo spoke to students in Mr. Klopfanstein’s Creative Content Production class about his lifelong interest in music and his work in bringing Woodstock ‘99 to Central New York when he was mayor of Rome. He also spoke about his current role representing New York Mills and the 47th District in the New York State Senate. 

“I have a lot of respect for [your] school system,” Sen. Griffo told the students. “Between academics, athletics, the arts and music, you have an extraordinary institution. You’re getting a great quality education.”

Prior to the Zoom visit, the students were given links to some of Sen. Griffo’s favorite musical artists when he was in high school and during the “Woodstock ‘99 era.” They also researched the music festival.

Senior AJ Kistner was particularly impressed with the lineup the festival attracted. “It’s crazy to think so many big names were coming up here in 1999,” he said.

“It was originally presented as a bridge from the millennium,” Sen. Griffo explained. “It was the end of the twentieth century and a bridge from the twenty-first.”

Junior Max Sinker acted as co-host of the event by introducing his classmates: Olivia Liccardo, Siddalee Daniels, Olivia Liccardo, Ethan Hurst and Madelyn McCoy. They each asked questions about the planning and logistics of a global event, as well as the senator’s current day-to-day activities as an elected official. 

“You’ve been brought up in a very good community,” Sen. Griffo concluded his visit. “I hope you take the good things about your upbringing and education here and continue to remain good people and remember your roots. Always be true to yourself and respect others.”

He added that as artists they have a responsibility to develop and control their craft and be mindful of the effect their work has on others, and to learn how to use their gifts to communicate the messages they intend. 

Students taking the Creative Content Production class gain knowledge and practical experience by developing original and substantive informational and entertainment content for a class website using various new and traditional media formats. Students work within their individual artistic interest areas (music, acting, photography, videography and writing) and assist each other through collaboration, constructive criticism and support. Students also meet and interact with various local and national professionals associated with various fields of media and content creation. 

While students are currently taking the class with Mr. Klopfanstein for class credit, the group is also open to interested New York Mills students who would like to participate more informally as a club. They can attend the talks with artists, create work for a public website project the class is working on, and participate in activities they are available for without the commitment of taking it as a formal class. This will still give them the opportunity to learn and hone twenty-first century marketable skills on content creation and communications, and have the chance to network with professionals from various fields.

Any students interested in joining can contact Mr. Klopfanstein at