District early childhood leader receives statewide honor
N.Y. (April 10, 2019) -- City School
District of Albany Early Childhood Department Director Melissa Hasty on
Friday was named the state’s 2019 Early Childhood Leader by the New York
Association for the Education of Young Children.
She received the award for her efforts in advocacy, research and
mentorship on behalf of early childhood education, all of which have
made significant contributions statewide and nationally.
“Melissa Hasty is an outstanding teacher and leader who is truly ‘all in
for Albany,’” said Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams. “Because of her
efforts to strengthen prekindergarten programs in Albany, our youngest
students start their education on a firm foundation for lifelong
As director of the Early Childhood
Department, Hasty is responsible for overseeing teaching, learning,
professional development and family engagement in prekindergarten
classrooms in all 12 elementary schools and at 18 community agencies
Under her leadership, the district’s
prekindergarten program has more than doubled in size and expects to
serve nearly 1,100 prekindergarteners ages 3 and 4 in the 2019-20 school
Hasty has worked for the district for 20
years. She spent 10 years as a kindergarten teacher in the district
before becoming an early childhood coordinator. She was appointed
director of the Early Childhood Department in 2016.
“We are thrilled for Melissa that she
earned this well-deserved award, and we are incredibly fortunate to have
her advocating on behalf of our children,” Adams said.
Hasty -- pictured with daughter Allison
and parents, John and Kathy Sanders -- accepted the award at the
organization’s Champions for Children Awards ceremony in Verona.
Her husband Andy, a teacher at Giffen Memorial Elementary School, was
unable to attend the ceremony because he was receiving an award of his
own on the same night in Albany (their son Tyler accompanied dad to the
local awards ceremony).
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
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