Anthony I. 'Tony' Clement:
Mourning the loss of a colleague, friend and
N.Y. (May 23, 2012) -- Family members, friends and
colleagues gathered May 22 to remember Anthony I.
"Tony" Clement, recalling a caring man who was
larger than life and had a heart to match.
"He was looked up to and loved because of the
contributions he made in every aspect of his life,
and especially because of the way he touched the
lives of so many young people," Superintendent
Raymond Colucciello, Ed.D., told more than 500
people during services at Christ the King Church in
longtime teacher, coach and administrator, succumbed to cancer
May 17. He was 47.
Known as "Big Tony" by friends, the 6-foot-8 Clement
worked for the City School District of Albany for 18
years as a teacher, coach and administrator. He was
in his first year as principal at Philip J. Schuyler
You can read the
May 18 Times Union to learn more about
Clement's life -- "He 'broke the mold'" -- and to
view additional photos of him at work in Albany's
public schools. You also can read his obituary in
May 21 Times Union.
A star basketball player at
Clark Atlanta University from 1984-88, Clement also
had a brief professional career – including tryouts
with the NBA’s New York Knicks and Washington
Bullets, a season in Finland’s professional league
and a season with the Rapid City (N.D.) Thrillers in
the former CBA.
He had a commanding presence in any setting –
especially in the halls of Schuyler Achievement
Academy, which serves students from prekindergarten
through fifth grade. “He was just as much at home
with a 4-year-old as he was a 14-year-old,” Dr.
Dr. Colucciello also shared a story that he said
captured the essence of a man with a "kind, gentle
heart that never grew tired of giving."
"The best picture I have of Tony in my mind came
from one of the early days of this school year," Dr.
Colucciello said. "He was walking around the
building helping people and all the while carrying a
kindergartner in his arms. The child was fast asleep
and seemed like no weight at all. The child never
stirred as Tony went about his business."
Clement cared deeply about children -- beginning
with his two sons and two daughters -- and found his
greatest satisfaction as an educator in guiding and
serving as a role model for African-American
“The passion has always been inner-city schools,”
Clement told the
for a 2005 feature about his role as house
principal of Albany High’s former ninth-grade
academy. "This is where the kids need
African-American role models. This is where the kids
need to see that it's OK to go to college."
Click here to read the full story
-- "Principal offers winning lesson."
A native of Nigeria, Clement joined the district as
a physical education teacher at the elementary,
middle and high-school levels in 1994. He was named
assistant principal at Arbor Hill Elementary School
in 1998, and moved to the house principal role at
Albany High in 2002.
He became the principal at Harriet Gibbons High
School in 2005. The alternative school served
students in grades 9-12 through 2005-06, and then
served as a ninth-grade academy until the district
merged the Harriet Gibbons program back into Albany
High for the 2010-11 school year.
Clement spent that school year as principal of the
Alternative Learning Center, home to the district’s
alternative-education programs for middle- and
high-school students, and became principal at
Schuyler Achievement Academy this school year. He
had been on medical leave since January.
Clement was active in the Capital Region’s
grandson of a high chief in Nigeria, Clement came to
the United States in 1984 to attend Clark Atlanta.
"Tony loved two countries, his native Nigeria and
his adopted home here in America," Dr. Colucciello
said. "Home was never far from Tony's heart, even as
he built a new home for himself half a world away.
He dedicated countless hours to the Nigerian and
Afrikan communities here in the Albany area, helping
to make the transition to a new life in a new
country easier for so many families and children."
completed his basketball career
at Clark Atlanta in 1988 as the school’s
rebounding leader – he was among the NCAA’s
rebounding leaders in his senior season of 1987-88 –
and graduated with honors after making Dean’s List
each of his four years.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in
physical and health education, student teaching in
Atlanta’s Fulton High School before pursuing a pro
basketball career and eventually settling in Albany
to begin his work as an educator.
Clement was enrolled in a doctoral program at The
Sage Colleges and was nearing completion before his
illness. He also held master's degrees in
educational psychology and educational
administration from The College of St. Rose.
"We miss Tony today – and will
continue to in the years ahead – because he meant so
much to so many people," Dr. Colucciello said.
"Tony’s life was defined by service to others, and
by a kind, gentle heart that never grew tired of
"We know he will be irreplaceable
in our school district. And for those of us who were
fortunate enough to know Tony as a colleague, we
extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family and
friends, who knew him so deeply and loved him so
The mission of the City School District of
Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be
responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to
successfully compete in the global community by providing an
academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents,
students and the community. The district serves about 8,700
students in 15
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