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Eight selected for induction into district Hall of Fame

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 8, 2017) -- President Obama’s last guardian of the environment. A top agriculture official from President Clinton’s administration. The City of Albany’s first female deputy fire chief. A deeply respected former teacher and administrator.

 

These accomplished individuals are among the eight members of the City School District of Albany Hall of Fame Class of 2017. They will be inducted during ceremonies in conjunction with Albany High School’s Homecoming Weekend on Sept. 22-23. Members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be honored at an induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22 at the Italian-American Community Center in Albany. The next day they will be enshrined on the Wall of Fame at Albany High at 11 a.m. and introduced during halftime at Albany High’s Homecoming football game, which begins at 1:30 p.m.

 

The members of the Class of 2017 are:

  • Kenneth D. Ackerman, Albany High School Class of 1969. A respected author on various aspects of American history, Ackerman practices law in Washington, D.C., specializing in agriculture risk management. He led the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Federal Crop Insurance Corp., throughout the Clinton administration (1993-2001). Earlier in his career, he served as legal counsel to two U.S. Senate committees: Governmental Affairs (1975-81) and Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry (1988-93).

  • Linda Jackson-Chalmers, Philip Schuyler High School Class of 1969. An Albany native and lifelong Albany resident, Jackson-Chalmers served the City School District of Albany in a variety of capacities over 38 years before her retirement in 2012. She began as an art teacher at Arbor Hill Elementary School and as a counselor at the CETA Summer Youth Employment Program. She served as chair of the district’s elementary and middle school art programs from 1977-86, when she was named principal at Arbor Hill Elementary. She served in that role until 1998, when she took the role of assistant superintendent for human resources. She added community relations to her duties in 2005 and served in that dual capacity until her retirement. She has continued to be an active leader in Albany and the Capital Region since that time.

  • Kevin C. Justice, former teacher, principal at William S. Hackett Middle School. An Albany native, Justice spent his entire 34-year career in education at Hackett. He began as a science teacher in 1963, was elevated to assistant principal in 1969 and took over as Hackett’s principal in 1987. He held that position until his retirement in 1997.

  • Holly Fernandez Lynch, Albany High School Class of 1999. A noted expert in bioethics, Lynch recently was appointed as an assistant professor and assistant faculty director of online education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. She served as executive director of Harvard University’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics from 2012-17. After earning her bachelor’s, law and master’s degrees at Penn from 1999-2006, Lynch worked in the Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Group of a Washington, D.C., law firm, as a bioethicist for the Human Subject Protection Branch of the National Institutes of Health, Division of AIDS, and as a senior policy research analyst for the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

  • Catherine McCabe, Albany High School Class of 1969. President Obama appointed McCabe to serve as the acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from Jan. 20, 2017, until the U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee, Scott Pruitt, in February. During her long career as an attorney and environmental advocate, she has battled for clean air and water, including acid rain from coal plants, PCB cleanup of the Hudson River and, most recently, water contamination from PFOAs and controlling the spread of the Zika virus. She currently serves as the EPA’s acting director for Region 2, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her career also has included 22 years working in the U.S. Department of Justice, specializing in environmental issues.

  • Melanie Pores, former teacher, Board of Education member. A member of the Board of Education from 1991-95, Pores served as a reading and English as a New Language teacher in the district from 1997-2008. She was a driving force behind the establishment of the district’s popular Spanish-English immersion Dual Language Program at Delaware Community School.

  • James P. Sano, former teacher, coach. Sano served as a physical education teacher in the City School District of Albany from 1979 until his retirement in 2011, first at the former Philip Livingston Magnet Academy (1979-2005) and then at Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School. Sano also was active in coaching for many years, serving on the staff of the modified, JV and varsity football teams, and on the staff of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams. Sano served as head coach of Albany High’s wrestling program from 1979-86, and as head coach of the Falcons’ bowling program from 2000-2010. He also has been active throughout the community, including serving three terms on the Albany Common Council (2001-13).

  • Maria McGarry Walker, Albany High School Class of 1986. A third-generation firefighter, Walker was sworn in as the first woman to serve as deputy chief of the Albany Fire Department in August 2016. She also was the first woman to serve as a captain in the department when she earned that promotion in 2011. Walker has served the community as a firefighter for 27 years.

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves nearly 9,700 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

         
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