Hamilton Mourns Local Teen

Vanessa Persico and Laura Stoloff

This week the Hamilton community mourned the death of Christiann Carpenter, a 17-year-old junior at Hamilton Central School (HCS).

Christiann, known to friends and family as Christi, died after a car accident on Route 12 in the early morning hours of Friday, October 27. HCS Principal Dana Chapman commented that there are still some unanswered questions, though, and her death had no relation to the accident.

News reached the school before classes started on Friday.Administrators convened the Crisis Team and met with the faculty before school, then set up four crisis centers within the school, manned by their own counselors as well as counselors from Madison-Oneida Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).

Students were encouraged to go to those crisis centers if they were having a difficult time dealing with the sudden death of their schoolmate.

The centers were busy all day, according to Chapman, and some remained open on Monday.Chapman said that, in addition to students, there were also grieving teachers, aides and secretaries.Many students wrote notes to the Carpenter family, including her two younger sisters: Hannah in seventh grade and Cassandra in tenth grade.

“We’re a small school, so on some level, everyone knows everyone,” Chapman said.

On Wednesday, secondary facilities were closed mid-morning so that students and faculty could attend Christi’s funeral.

According to family friend and Modified Basketball Coach Debbie Welsh, Christi used to play modified basketball and some modified field hockey, but playing volleyball this year.

She was very enthusiastically involved with Almeda, a group of female students who put on “The Almeda Ball” every year.

“She loved children, loved to play with kids,” Welsh said. “She had a beautiful smile.”

Welsh also noted that she was very close to her family and had a full laugh. She loved clothes and accessories and being social.

“If she had any connection to you, she’d say hello. She was never too busy to say hello.”