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Albany High School held its 140th commencement on June
27, when 430 high school seniors and their families
and friends celebrated the life milestone of high school
Click here to read more about the Class of
2010 and the graduation ceremony held at UAlbany's SEFCU
click here to see more photos.
Students officially left middle school behind them in
June 24 ceremonies at Myers Middle School, Hackett Middle
School and North Albany Academy. At left, Myers Principal
Kim Wilkins welcomes graduates and their families to
the school's graduation celebration, while at right,
NaiShawn Williams beams with his graduation certificate from
Hackett Middle School.
Click here to see photos of graduation ceremonies throughout
the school district.
Eighth-graders at North Albany Academy donned their
finest for the graduation ceremonies held June 24 at their
school, which serves students from prekindergarten-Grade
8. On the left, students wait to proceed before their
family and friends. At right, students sing "Lift Every
Voice and Sing" for their audience of family, friends and
The move from elementary school to middle school is a
step toward growing up, and fifth- and sixth-grade students
throughout the City School District of Albany took that
step during various ceremonies during the last week of school.
At left, a New Scotland Elementary School fifth-grader
beams after receiving her moving-up certificate on June 23,
and at right, Eagle Point Principal Kendra Chaires
presents a graduation certificate to a sixth-grader on June 22.
'Tis the season for graduations and moving up -- and
prekindergarteners and kindergarteners throughout the City
School District of Albany celebrated during the last
weeks of school. At right, a Giffen Memorial Elementary School
prekindergartenr leads his classmates in song at the
school's pre-K moving-up ceremony on June 21. At left,
Schuyler Achievement Academy kindergarten graduates
demonstrate some lessons learned during their kinder-
garten graduation on June 21.
On June 15, Arbor Hill Elementary School students got a
sneak preview of the newly renovated school they'll return
to this fall. Above, at left, prekindergarteners peer
into a classroom, and on the right, Principal Rosalind Gaines-
Harrell gets a snuggle from a student on the front steps
of the building. Students and staff spent the past two years
.in temporary space while their school building underwent
Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST)
student Patrick Bringas drove a car sponsored by
TOAST's PTA at the Soap Box Derby held in Albany on June
12 and 13. At left, Bringas edges ahead of the
competition. At right, Bringas and Isaiah Andrews pose
with the TOAST car.
Schuyler Achievement Academy students celebrated the
popsicle days of summer on June 11 during the school's
annual field day in Bleecker Stadium. Every grade had a
chance to play games, picnic and get a jump on summer
fun that's around the corner.
A group of graduating seniors who will be off to college
this fall ham it up for the camera in the Albany High School
courtyard on June 11 during the annual College Center
Fourth-graders in Judi Saleh's class at North Albany
Academy on June 8 demonstrated their six-minute dance moves
to officials from the federal Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, the New York state Health Department and
the Albany County Health Department. At left, the class
does the twist while at right, school nurse Helen Barber and
the health officials join in. Saleh's class is one of
seven at North Albany that volunteered to participate in this grant-
funded program that promotes healthy lifestyles through
everyday activities. Giffen Memorial Elementary School,
Schuyler Achievement Academy and Sheridan Preparatory
Academy have similar programs.
Star-Quana Jackson gets a congratulations handshake
Delaware Community School made change with change
from Assistant House Principal Sophia Newell on June
during its annual "Penny Harvest," and two local charities
3 at the Albany High School 2010 awards ceremony.
benefited from the school's generosity on June 3. Pictured
Star-Quana received Assilee Threatt Award; she and
above, from left, are teacher Leanna Iorio, student Isabella
her classmates were the recipients 96 prizes, awards
Manns, Peppertree Rescue's Louann Norelli and student
Maria Elmardi. Students split the $900 they raised between
Peppertree and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern
Albany High School physics students got a lesson in
Albany firefighters "rescue" Albany High School junior
"nano physics" on May 26 from Dr. Sara Brenner of
and actress Tyler Howard on May 26 during staging of
the College of Nanoscience and Engineering at the
of a car accident caused by drunk driving. Albany High
University at Albany. From left, the students are Robert
seniors look on in the background, as emergency workers
Dufresne, Owen Daniels, Dr. Brenner, Jesus Vijay and and police tend to others at the scene. The drill was
Rachel Britt-Busler. part of a morning-long seminar emphasizing the dangers
and legal ramifications of drunk driving.
Congratulations to the team of fleet-footed teachers,
administrators and staff from the City School District of Albany
that garnered an award in the 2010 Workforce Team
Challenge Race on May 20. The 111-strong group had the second-
largest team participating in this year's 3.5-mile race.
Family, friends and neighbors joined for a community
barbecue on May 18 hosted by Arbor Hill Elementary School.
The event was a warm-up to the school's September return
from temporary space to a newly renovated building.
Click here to see more pictures from the day.
Pine Hills Elementary School students got
lessons in writing and drawing from author and illustrator James Ransome,
who visited the school on May 19 as part
of William Kennedy Junior Writers Week activities. In the photo on the
prekindergarteners listen closely to
Ransome and on the right, first-grader Ziari Brown, with Ransome in the
ground, prepares for a lesson in drawing
with numbers. Ransome spent the day at Pine Hills Elementary, and
with students from prekindergarten
through Grade 6. Later, he autographed copies of his book.
Twenty-five students from Giffen Memorial Elementary
School and Arbor Hill Elementary School graduated on
May 18 from the first class of the 5th and 6th Grade
Scholars Institute, a pilot program to improve literacy in
elementary schools in the City School District of Albany.
The project was a collaboration between the district and
the Family Education Alliance. In the photo on the left,
sixth-grader DiJour Carter and teacher Kelly Roberts show
off DiJour's certificate. In the photo on the right,
sixth-grader Chynna Wallace and mom Mary Wallace pose for a
graduation photo. Congratulations to the students who
successfully completed the program!
Albany School of Humanities fifth-graders on May 12
learned a thing or two about Australia from an exhibit
about the country that first-graders created and
displayed in the school's museum room. In the photo on the left,
Ryan O'Keefe, Jaan Choudhri, Cole Malerba and Emily Ha
discuss Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock). On the right,
Ciera Green and Maeve Cahill tentatively examine one of
many spiky lifelike critters crafted by the first-graders.
Second-graders at Giffen Memorial Elementary School saw the circus on
May 7 when it visited Albany and the
Times Union Center. At left, two students model their clown noses and on
the right, students have front-row seats
while they watch the circus elephants eat their lunch on South Pearl
Eight Albany High School seniors ushered in the city's
annual Tulip Festival on May 7 with a ceremonial washing
of the streets. Decked out in authentic Dutch attire from
head to toe are, from left, Kasiah Knight, Allie Diefendorf,
Sholanda Addison, Amanda Villela, Ayesha Holloway, Anazha Holt, Sabina
Bektesevic and Catherine Gibbons.
Delaware Community School families, friends and neighbors
celebrated Cinco de Mayo on May 5 with music,
dance and lots of feasting. At left, students learn some
dance moves while at right, sisters
mug for then camera as they finish dinner.
On May 4, sixth-graders at Pine Hills Elementary School
gave a presentation about leadership to their classmates
and shared lessons they learned when they attended a
Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington,
DC. In the left photo, the students from left are Sara
Popp, Shaun Franklin, Xhuliano Brace and Annie Okichy and
the adult is Carolyn O'Keefe, Popp's mother. The students
are presenting a thank-you gift to O'Keefe, who, along
with Principal Vibetta Sanders and teacher Art Eastman,
helped make the conference a reality for the students. In
the photo on the right, Brace and Popp explain what the
conference is about while Franklin mans the PowerPoint.
Students at Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and
Technology (TOAST) stepped out on April 29 during their
school's ballroom dance competition. At left, from the
left are Gizen Muslim, Vanessa Wilkins and Amanda Eichen-
hofer. Pictured at right are Sabrina Hoke, Kevina
Burgess, Vanessa Wilkins and Olivia Stebbins-Hopkins.
Albany High School's acclaimed Theatre Ensemble runs
through a full dress rehearsal of "Into the Woods," the
Tony-award winning Steven Sondheim musical that takes a
decidedly different look at the fairy tales we all grew up
Click here for more details.
Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology's
(TOAST) health fair on April 28 taught students everything
from healthy eating to fire safety. At left, Alexis
Wilson and Khadejah Martin pose with a "firefighter," and on the
right, Olivia Stebbins-Hopkins and Amanda Eichenhofer
show off their knowledge about the food pyramid.
Students at Abrookin Career and Technical Center played
the part of young job-seeking professionals on April 27
during the school's "Dress for Success Day." Mock
interviews and seminars on resume-writing, motivation and inter-
viewing skills rounded out the day, with a majority of
the school's students participating. On the left, business teacher
and mock interviewer Kevin Rockwood grills sophomore Amy
Quick about about her strengths. At right, senior Russell
McCall stays cool while College of Saint Rose student
Theresa Kelly interviews him AND he's filmed by a crew from
WNYT/News Channel 13.
Click here to see a video of YNN's coverage of the event.
About 350 students from Albany School of Humanities (ASH)
donned their sneakers and skipped rope on April 23 to
benefit the American Heart Association. It was ASH's 13th
year of participating in "Jump Rope for Heart," and
participants from kindergarten through sixth grade helped
raise money for research and programs to combat heart
disease. The jump-ropers raised about $9,500 Friday; over
the years ASH's "Jump Rope for Heart" efforts have raised
$140,000 for the Heart Association.
The Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology
(TOAST) Earth Day tree-plantings were part of the City
School District of Albany's official launch of its new
Project Learning Tree program (click
here to read story). In the
photo at left, City of Albany Forester Tom Pfeiffer tells
students in Patty Molitor's kindergarten about the importance
of a tree's roots as the class plants a pear tree next to
the school. On the right, The College of Saint Rose volunteer
Stephanie Zonca and kindergarteer Reina Hinton plant a
Albany School of Humanities got a jump on Earth Day on
April 20, when second-graders in Sara McGraw's class
conducted a clean-up of the entire school yard and
third-graders in Connie Blair's class planted several trees on
school grounds. At left, Ethan Thuo locates a
hard-to-reach piece of trash. In the photo on the right,
Hector, left, and Gianna Scalzetto throw
their muscles into making a spot for a pine tree. Tree-planting efforts
are part of the district's new environmental
education program called Project Learning Tree®.
Schuyler Achievement Academy second-graders on March 24
got an education on the history of the trumpet and
tuba from the pros in the Albany Symphony Orchestra. The
presentation was part of the symphony's "Adopt a
School" program, and all second graders in the City
School District of Albany will get a chance to get a similar
lesson over the next six months. On the left, tuba player
John Bottomley shows student Giovanni Vacanti an early
ancestor of the tuba and trumpet -- the conch shell. At
right, trumpeter Eric Berlin lets kids get up close and personal
to his trumpet. From left are Tarenea Dickens, Kevin
Brown, Iahana Green, Raeshauna Mitchell and Hadees Hadees.
Sixth-graders at Albany School of Humanities took on the
personas of Asians and Asian-Americans who have made
a difference throughout history during the school's March
29 "Living Museum." Each student chose a famous Asian
or Asian-American and over the past two months researched
his or her life as part of the sixth-grade study of Asia.
Once students learned about the life of their subject,
they wrote and acted out their own mini-screenplays in a
community performance at the school At left, Mario Ravelo
is actor and martial artist Jackie Chan, who was born
in Hong Kong. On the right, Lanaya Garnes speaks in the
voice of seventh-century Queen Sondok of Korea.
Montessori Magnet School students in March participated
in a school-wide "One World Classroom" performance of
music, acting and storytelling. Starting with
prekindergarten, every class participated in the production, the theme
of which was China. At left, Owen Farrell, William
Traynor, Julia Kuk and Adam Racine act out their parts, and on
the right, Jahira HInes, Quanair Williams, Mazzy Gazzaway
and Caleb John do the same.
The budding scientists at Thomas O'Brien Academy of
Science and Technology (TOAST) showcase their findings
at the school's science fair on March 25. At left, Matt
Flynn displays his project about germination. On the right,
science teacher Art Flynn discusses Martinique Robinson's
experiment with her.
Faculty and staff at New Scotland Elementary School
The Albany High School orchestra on March 27 pre-
rallied when the daughter of one of their colleagues
miered 17th- and 18th-century classical music at a
was diagnosed with leukemia. Besides supporting the
a special performance at William S. Hackett Middle
family, they and local philanthropists UOTS Abigail
School. The concert was the culmination of a collab-
#3 raised more than $1,000 to buy kid-friendly
oration between Albany High and the Neapolitan Music
gifts for the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical
Society, where virtuosos from the organization spent
Center and the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer
two weeks teaching students using methods employed
and Blood Disorders. Pictured above, presenting the
gifts, by Italian composers 200 years ago.
here to see
are Gilda Shuman of Abigail, New Scotland Elemen-
the Capital News 9/YNN story about the concert and
tary nurse Sandy Cardiff, leukemia survivor Rylyn Swier-
click here for more information about the concert and
zewski, teacher Elissa Peckage, Anna Kagan-Bender
of Abigail and teacher Barb Rosselli.
Albany High School
senior Katie Michaelis on March
New Scotland Elementary School English as a Second
signed a ceremonial
letter of intent to attend
Language teacher Linda Stegagno poses with some
Mercyhurst College in
Erie, Pa., where she earned
of her students at a recent breakfast she held for all their
scholarships for soccer
families. From left, the students are Wesam Gazali, Jon-
signs the letter at a
news conference at the school's
athan and Afeer Masih, Karl Patrick Pedralvez, Jose Guil-
College Center. (Click
here here for related story)
len Montalvo, Jagat Pararjuli and Stephen Pedralvez.
On March 23, William S. Hackett Middle School marked the
official opening of its Time-Dollar Store with a
ceremonial ribbon-cutting. At the store, students and
parent volunteers can spend "time dollars" they are awarded
for volunteer work in the school and community. (Click
here to see related story) In the photo on the right, Hackett
parent partner Zena Dorsey makes the cut while
sixth-graders Tazeek Johnson and Shyaira Cesario-Hogan look on.
At left, Johnson and teacher Lynn Bancroft check out the
goods the store offers.
Students learning to speak English at Sheridan
Preparatory Academy have a special reading buddy -- Buster the one-
eyed pug. Buster is part of the Tail Waggin' Tutors
program of Therapy Dogs International. Every other Tuesday,
students at Sheridan Prep boost their confidence and
their skills by reading aloud to the appreciative and uncritical
audience of Buster -- who is trained as a therapy dog.
In the photo at left, first-grader Christain Burgos tells a farm
tale to Buster, and at right, second grader Marlian
Maldonado enlightens the pooch about counting M&Ms.
Delaware Community School celebrated "Living Literature
Day" on March 17, and students and staff alike dressed
as their favorite storybook character. Costumes ranged
from the Paperback Princess to the Very Hungry Caterpillar
to Tacky the Penguin, with a wide assortment of
princesses in between. Above, prekindergartener Sofia O'Connor,
left, studies the cast of characters in her class while classmate Tianna Bryan shows off her costume and book with
Harriet Gibbons High School hosted a full house March 11
at its Afrikan Kingdoms 2010 celebration. The evening
was filled with poetry, song, dance, music and then
topped off with a meal. Entertainers included student Moniek
Benston, in the photo at right, reading a poem. In the
photo on the left, two members of the Abrookin Gospel Choir
rock the house. Other performers included the Harriet
Gibbons hip-hop dancers. This year's theme was "We are
many threads but of one cloth."
Fifth-graders at Giffen Memorial Elementary School
literally made renewable energy March 10 with help from staff
from the UAlbany's College of Nanoscience and Engineering
and teachers Anna Walker and Jeremy Dudley. At
left, Te-Anna Brown-Walker examines a panel that converts
sunlight to energy. On the right, Kemar McPherson
records how far his race car went using solar energy.
Students also powered race cars with hydrogen they extracted
from water. The activities were part of students' study
of recycling, energy and force.
Albany public schools celebrated "Census in the Schools"
week by learning some lessons on the importance of
being counted in the 2010 Census currently underway. (Click
here for story) On the left, North Albany Academy
third-grader Steven Vaughn reads his part in a play about
how the government conducts the census. At right,
students in Kelly Madison's eighth-grade social-studies
class track data about U.S. population trends.
Albany School of Humanities held school-wide fundraisers
at the end of February to benefit victims of the Jan. 12
earthquake that struck Haiti. Over two weeks the school
raised a total of $1,720 through two fundraising dances and
the sale of paper hearts . In the photos above, students
make hearts to sell.
Members of the Schuyler Achievement Academy Father-Son
Ski Club took to the slopes this winter at Maple Ski
Ridge. At left, the group -- including staff from the
school -- poses before attacking the mountain. At right, from left
to right, Zachary Broderick, Jamari Wilder and Nicholas
Rosado contemplate their next run.
At the end of Black History Month, students at Stephen
and Harriet Myers Middle School literally got a taste of the
life of George Crum, a cook who lived in Saratoga Springs
during the 1850s and who is widely credited with invent-
ing the potato chip. In the photo at right, George Crum
(otherwise known as librarian and actor Donald Hyman)
tells Josh Fauntroy he needs to eat more while Stephen
Reid looks on. Hyman's performance as Donald Crum was
one of several Black History Month projects he and fellow
librarian Fran Waldman undertook to educate Myers
students about contributions African-Americans have made
throughout history. In the photo at left, from left to right,
Kiara Bullock, Odella Nurse, Athena Muhammad, Fauntroy,
Hyman, Reid, Waldman, Jade Buie and Dezirae Baker
prepare to eat their history lesson. The students earned
boxes of the Original Saratoga Chip after they correctly
identified Crum in a research contest.
Arbor Hill Elementary School students at left join in
song at a "We Are the World" celebration the school held on
Jan. 29. During the celebration, Arbor Hill students
presented the American Red Cross with a check for $1,107.33 --
the amount the school raised to benefit Haiti earthquake
Haiti's massive and debilitating earthquake touched the
lives of many district families, and our community respond-
ed. At left, Delaware Community School principal Tom
Giglio, right, prepares to present a check to the Gas Kov
Clerge Foundation for funds the school raised in a "Hats
for Haiti" drive. Also in the photo are teacher Joelle Lydon
and P.H. Belfort, parent of kindergartner Montany and a
native of Haiti. In the photo on the right, New Scotland
Elementary School fifth-graders Bianka St. Juste, left,
and Brynn Watkins present a check for $1,000 to the American
Red Cross from a school-wide fundraiser the two girls
"Hats for Haiti" efforts at Thomas O'Brien Academy of
Members of the City School District of Albany's "winter
Science and Technology yielded $427.56 for victims
guard" team showed their stuff at their Jan. 20 practice
of the Jan. 12 earthquake that ravaged the country
at Albany School of Humanities. Winter guard is an indoor
of Haiti. Telling the story with signs (and hats!) were
activity based on color guard -- the flag- and saber-twirling
fifth-graders Keyazhane Maggs, James Robertson and
brigades that often accompany marching bands in
Lenai Gordon, and technology teacher Deb Whipple.
parades. Winter guard moves the activity inside and puts
Congrats to the students and staff for their efforts
flag-bearers front and center in choreographed
on behalf of those in need!
Pine Hills Elementary School students who stayed on the
straight and narrow got a chance to kick up their heels
with their classmates on Jan. 15 at the school's first
Snow Ball. The event was part of a "Spring into Good Choices"
program that rewards students who avoid getting sent to
the office. At left, sixth-graders Decontee Keta and Simone
Zialu easily limboed under the pole held by Principal
Vibetta Sanders (left) and Social Worker Cathy Huttner. In the
right photo, Ms. Huttner led Kalia Holloway, Valeria
Guardado-Romero, Isabel Washington and a score of others
in a conga line.
On Jan. 20, students at New Scotland Elementary School
boogied with a choreographer who worked them on the
dance moves of Michael Jackson. In the photo at left are
Rachel Andrews and Charles Chandler, and at right from
left to right are Hannah Rivera, Gabriell Karins and
Xhorshi Olldashi. The students are learning the moves for a
performance at the school's Black History Month
celebration on Feb. 12.
Albany Elks Lodge 49 honored nine City School District of
Albany students on Jan. 20 for outstanding essays they
wrote on the subject of "The American Dream: What Is It."
At left, fifth-grader Laina Dandles of Albany School of
Humanities shows off the first-place certificate for her
essay. On the right, Eagle Point Elementary School third-
grader Vanessa Cossart reads her essay with a little help
from Elk (and North Albany Academy teacher) Connie
McNally. A total of 258 students in grades 3-8 entered
essays in the contest,
Albany High School Principal David McCalla, Ph.D.,
Harriet Myers Middle School student
center, on Jan. 12
received a $2,100 check from the
Sophie Boldiston, standing,
Clergy for Empowerment
her voyage down the Hudson River on the Half Moon to
buy a SMART Board for
the high school. Shaking
students in Barb Warford's fourth-grade class at New
hands with Dr. McCalla
is the Rev. Leonard D. Comi-
Scotland Elementary School. Sophie is an alum of the
thier. Rev. Comither is
president of the
group, which is school,
which was School 19 when she attended. Her
made up of local church
leaders who contributed funds
presentation was tied to to the class' study of Dutch
and made the donation
influence on New York State history.
Abrookin Vo-Tech School recently teamed up with
architects CS Arch on a pilot project that introduced a dozen
high-school students to architecture and interior design.
Two teams of students designed a school library from top to
bottom with the guidance of CS Arch staff using the tools
of the trade (provided by CS Arch). In the photo on the left,
students Matt Tolman and Markiesha Thompson,CS Arch
interior designer Kailyn Siebert, and students Danyel
Matthews and Jodine Gordon discussed the color scheme for
their library. On the right, student Jahi Crawford-Young,
Abrookin teacher Bruce Romanchak, and students Marquese
Barnes and Eri Shkullaku discuss where to put fixtures
and furniture in their plans.
It's back to Lincoln Park for staff and students at
Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST).
Their Jan 4 homecoming capped a renovation project from
summer 2008 through the end of 2009, during which
time they stayed in temporary space at the former Philip
Schuyler Elementary School. At left, students
in Mrs. Bruce's kindergarten class get back to into the
swing of things with Mrs. Florance in her updated library. At
right, the school sign provided a welcome back message.
To read more about the TOAST reopening,
Hackett Middle School teacher Lynn Bancroft, left,
English as a Second Language teacher Kathryn Sokaris
counts money her students raised for the Leukemia
and her students at Eagle Point Elementary School met
and Lymphoma Society as part of a character edu-
Santa on Dec. 23 when he made a surprise visit to the
cation project. Making it all add up are sixth-graders
school. Santa visits Mrs. Sokaris' ESL classes every year
Ian Matthews, Julieana Boesse and Shanje Edwards.
as part of her lessons about U.S. culture and customs..
As of Dec. 23, they had raised $433.31.
All four classes of New Scotland Elementary School
kindergartners entertained family and friends on Dec. 15 with
a variety of activities to celebrate the holidays. At
left, students in Ms. Gunther's class sing and dance to an Arabic
song as part of their "holidays around the world"
festivities. At right, students in Mrs. Dwyer's class perform the play.
"The Gingerbread Man."
In the photo on the left, art teacher Debbie Cronin
addressed members of the media who attended a Dec. 16 press
conference at Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School
recognizing area teachers who recently were certified by
the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (click
here to read story). Both Ms. Cronin -- an art teacher
at Eagle Point and New Scotland elementary schools -- and
Melissa Hirt -- a technology teacher at Myers -- earned
the prestigious certification.
Forester Sloane Crawford from the Department of
Environmental Conservation, right, discusses the natural resources
of New York State with fourth- and fifth-graders at
Sheridan Preparatory Academy on Dec. 10. At left, a student
examines one of the products of New York's natural
resources -- a wood baseball bat.
Fourth-graders at Albany School of Humanities took family
and friends on a museum journey to South America on
Dec. 8. Students and their teachers compiled the
month-long exhibit, which featured information, art and artifacts
from a variety of South American countries. At left,
Kendall Robinson-Gipson shakes a hand-made maraca for her
mom Danyelle, and on the right, Julia Marlett and her dad
Jeff complete a puzzle of the countries of South America.
Harriet Gibbons High School's Dec. 8 recognition ceremony
spotlighted students who have good grades, attend
school regularly and have a good attitude. At right,
Principal Anthony Clement hands a certificate to one such
student. After the ceremony, students who were honored
had a special lunch with their families. In the left photo,
ninth-grader Jahneira Mackey (left), Mr. Clement, and
Jahneira's mom Shamea show off Jahneira's high honors
North Albany Academy's star robotics team, Mindstorm
Maniacs, took second place at a Dec. 5 competition at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. At left, LaReina Torain
and Thomasina Nguyen tinker with their robot, and at
right, LaReina cheers on her other teammates.
The Abrookin Gospel Choir made a joyful noise during the
city's "1st Friday" celebration on Dec. 4. at the
Cathedral of All Saints in downtown Albany. The Abrookin
choir was one of several groups from the City School
District of Albany that either sang, danced or displayed
their artwork that evening. At left, the virtuosas relaxed
after their performance.
At left, Principal Michael Paolino addressed the crowded
house of 188 students who made first-quarter honor roll
at William S. Hackett Middle School. At right, Jenna
Kindlon and teacher Valarie Karas wait for seventh-graders to
be called to the stage to be awarded a certificate of
Members of the Albany Marching Falcons marching band
entertained shoppers with holiday tunes on Dec. 2 at
Barnes & Noble booksellers in Colonie. At right, Santa
(also known as music teacher John Halvorsen) conducted.
The band performed to help raise money for the cost of
new uniforms, and Barnes & Noble donated about $800 to
the cause after Albany book lovers shopped in droves.
Sheridan Preparatory Academy Principal Cecily Wilson
served up Thanksgiving fixings to her students at the school's
annual Thanksgiving Day lunch in the photo at left. At
right, students wait patiently for their turn for dessert.
In the left photo, Tim Fowler, principal
of Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST), and
teacher Deb Whipple unloaded the turkeys he later gave away during
TOAST's first turkey "shoot" on Nov. 24. At
right, students wait for a
chance to shoot a basketball and win a Thanksgiving
turkey. About 300 members of the
TOAST community attended the event.
New Scotland Elementary School students dance up a storm
during the school's annual Harvest Fest on Nov. 20.
At right, students peruse the literature offerings at a
book fair held during the event.
Eagle Point Elementary School celebrated
International Children's Day on Nov. 20 with food, dance and song from
cultures throughout the world --
especially countries from which Eagle Point families come.
Friends and family from Arbor Hill Elementary School
feasted at the school's Harvest Festival on Nov. 19. At left,
staff served dinner (they also cooked it!) to more than
125 people. At right, a family finishes up their meal with some
At left, Interim School Superintendent Raymond
Colucciello, Ed.D., center, and School Board President Barbara
Gaffuri shared their perspectives on
education with a member of Turkey's Ministry of Education at a Nov. 19
at Albany High School. Several district
officials participated in discussions with a delegation of 25 people
the Turkish Ministry of Education. In the
photo on the right, from left they are Marty Anderson, director of the
Center, Dr. Tresa Diggs, Assistant
Superintendent for Secondary Education, Shalondra Addison, student
ative to the Board of Education, and Dr.
David McCalla, Albany High Principal. The visit was coordinated by
U.S. Department of State and the International
Center of the Capital Region.
Students from Philip Schuyler Achievement
Academy helped Mayor Gerald Jennings kick off the city's annual
"Coats for Kids" drive at a press
conference on Nov. 19. In the photo at right, students modeled some new
The Albany High School Theatre Ensemble performed the
hard-hitting play "The Laramie Project" Nov. 19-22. The
play focuses on the murder of a gay college student in a
Wyoming town and the community's response to it, and
explores the effects of violence and hatred on a
community. At left, News Channel 13 reporter Elaine Houston
conducted an interview with senior Rosa Collins during a
dress rehearsal. At right. student actors ran through one of
the play's scenes.
Members of the Albany High School
New Scotland Elementary School Art Teacher Deb
Alliance posed in front of the 284
Cronin and students show off panels they made for the
gathered from fellow students and staff
AIDS Memorial Quilt/Names Project. They dedicated
schools should be safe places for all
the panels at a special ceremony on Oct. 27.
Hackett Middle School teachers and students took to the
floor during the school's Fall Harvest Dance on Oct. 23.
Delaware Community School students celebrated the
On Oct. 21, North Albany Academy students shared
United Nations and math with a world tour during
their thoughts about a new district-wide middle school
their "Family Math Night" on Oct. 23. The event
gang prevention program with CapitalNews 9 reporter
focused on diversity, family and -- of course -- math.
Curtis Schick. For more information about the program,
Albany High School cheerleaders showed their spirit
School Board President Barbara Gaffuri and Super-
on Oct. 17 just before the homecoming parade and
intendent Ray Colucciello unveiled the school district's
game at Bleecker Stadium. For more pictures of "Wall of Fame"
on Oct. 17 at Albany High. There, 14
members of the district's first and subsequent Hall of
Fame classes will be permanently enshrined. For more
Hall of Fame photos, click here. For the Hall of Fame
Students, staff and community members partied Latin-style
during Hispanic Heritage Celebrations at Pine Hills
Elementary School and William S. Hackett Middle School on
Oct. 14 and 16 . At left, a Pine Hills Elementary
student samples his first empanada. And on the
right, Hackett students and teachers take the stage to dance a
On Oct. 14, Eagle Point Elementary School Art
Families from New Scotland Elementary School hoofed
Teacher Debbie Cronin and her student artists peered
it to school on Oct. 9 -- Walk to School Day. About 30
at their Halloween display of handmade pizza and
families and children took to the streets to celebrate the
architecture sculptures. Why pizza and Victorian
day, which promotes fitness as well as safe walking and
houses? October is "National Pizza Month," and stu-
and biking in communities throughout the United States.
dents were learning about Edward Hopper's renditions
of Victorian homes at the same time.
Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares
State Education Commissioner David M. Steiner got a
gave a law lesson to students from Thomas O'Brien
computer lesson from Pine Hills Elementary School
Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST)
students on Oct. 1 -- his first day on the job. Later that
students on Oct. 2 at the Albany County Judicial
day, Court of Appeals Judge Victoria Graffeo admin-
Center. The class was part of "Legal Lives," a
istered the oath of office to Dr. Steiner -- also at Pine
long program that teaches students about the law
and its role in their lives.
Albany High School fans voice their falcon pride
Sue Kushner, right, served up healthy fare Sept. 26
during an Oct. 1 pep rally -- the second one this year.
during a junior varsity football game at Albany High
The whole school turned out for the event to cheer on
School. Mrs. Kusher came with the idea of a "JV
athletes who participated in varsity and junior varsity
Hospitality Tent" where fans at home and away JV
sports this fall.
football games could get fresh fruit and healthy
snacks during games. Her efforts were supported by
the Booster Club, Honest Weight Food Co-op, Price
Chopper and Hannaford.
Myers Middle School Teacher Gary Nowik (back row)
Eagle Point Elementary School fifth-graders in Lynn
and five eighth-grade students spent a week in
Willigan's class heard a Sept. 23 presentation by
September sailing the Hudson River aboard the Half
Henry Hudson (portrayed by Paul McGowan) during
Moon, a replica of the ship Henry Hudson sailed
the school's celebration of the 400th anniversary of
on his 1609 voyage that led him to the location that
Hudson's voyage on the ship Half Moon.
is now Albany. Pictured from left on their Sept. 28
return are Erica Sikat, Jack McGill, Christian Dixon and
Albany High School seniors from the Career
Rasuli Lewis, program director at Harlem Children's
Explorations in Education course of Jeffrey Weltz
Zone, spoke at a community forum Sept. 23 at Giffen
(back row, third from right) visited district
Memorial Elementary School. Mr. Lewis discussed the
at Academy Park on Sept. 18. They learned about all
project he oversees and the possibility of creating anti-
aspects of different operations and employment.
poverty zones in Albany that would provide health,
Their tour ended with a visit with Interim Superinten-
education and social services to children from birth
dent Raymond Colucciello.
Giffen Memorial Elementary School students joined
New Scotland Elementary School's fourth- and fifth-
Interim Superintendent Raymond Colucciello and
grade classes hosted Chosen --a song and dance group
other local luminaries on Sept,. 12 at a ribbon-
made up of children who represent Africa's millions of
cutting ceremony celebrating completion of
AIDS orphans -- on Sept. 9 .
renovations at the school.
Montessori Magnet School students, including
The City School District of Albany's middle schools --
fifth-grade student Jack Delong, had a chance to
North Albany Academy (PK-grade 8), Stephen and
share their thoughts on the importance of recycling
Harriet Myers Middle School and William S. Hackett
and environmental awareness during a news con-
Middle School -- held orientation programs for stu-
ference at their school Sept. 9. The event was to
dents Aug. 27. Pictured above, Hackett teachers
announce the City of Albany's plan to provide re-
meet with eighth-grade students.
cycling bins in every classroom in the district.
The hottest week of the summer greeted Albany High
School's fall sports teams when preseason practices
began in August. Pictured above, new varsity football
coach Pete Porcelli (left) calls a play in the huddle on
Aug. 20, and the boys' varsity soccer team (right)
tunes up for a season that begins with aspirations of a
Big 10 championship and a chance to test the
traditional Suburban Council powers in the Section II Class AA
Students roast marshmallows in a campfire circle
Ruth Pelham of the popular Music Mobile performs
during the Learning Fair at North Albany Academy
on the final day of the Elementary Summer Accelerated
on Aug. 7, the final day of the summer school pro-
Learning Program at New Scotland Elementary School
gram for elementary and middle school students
on July 31. The expanded summer school programs
at New Scotland and Pine Hills Elementary School
served more than 500 students in 2009, about 25
percent more than previous years thanks to the ex-
panded program and the addition of transportation.