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District honors excellence in teaching with annual Golden Apple awards

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 14, 2017) -- The City School District of Albany recognized excellence in teaching Thursday night with the presentation of the 2017 Golden Apple awards during a ceremony at Giffen Memorial Elementary School.


Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams, joined by members of the Board of Education, presented the awards to representatives from each district school. The annual Golden Apple and Crystal Apple awards are sponsored by First New York Federal Credit Union.


The district presented the 2017 Crystal Apple to Albany High School psychologist Liz Gialenella, Ph.D., at Convocation on Sept. 1. This year’s Golden Apple recipients, recognized for their service during the 2016-17 school year, are:

  • Amanda Weklar, Abrookin Career and Technical Center

  • Lawrence Bizzaro, Albany High School

  • Orly Contreras, Albany High School

  • Christina Hettie, Albany School of Humanities (ASH)

  • Amy Wilson, Arbor Hill Elementary School

  • Leslie Bello-Brown, Delaware Community School

  • Diane Lemieur, Eagle Point Elementary School

  • Kimberly Healy, Giffen Memorial Elementary School

  • Natalie Aiello, Montessori Magnet School

  • Mary Indovina, New Scotland Elementary School

  • Mary Anziano, North Albany Academy

  • Tamara Colman, Philip J. Schuyler Achievement Academy

  • Kevin Retell, Pine Hills Elementary School

  • Melissa Hunt, Sheridan Preparatory Academy

  • John Cole, Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School

  • Deborah Whipple, Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science Technology (TOAST)

  • Jack McCulley, Tony Clement Center for Education

  • John Batch, West Hill Middle School

  • Edwin Newell, William S. Hackett Middle School


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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