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Back to Communications Home

Photo Gallery -- 2009-10

Click on each photo to view a larger version. Return to the Photo Gallery home page or the Online News Center home page.

 

       

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 graduation. Click here to read more about the Class of

2010 and the graduation ceremony held at UAlbany's SEFCU Arena, and 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

teachers.

 

       

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 extensive remodeling

 

       

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 pizza party. 

 

        

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

and scholarships.                                                                 Maria Elmardi. Students split the $900 they raised between

                                                                                            Peppertree and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern

                                                                                            New York.

 

        

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 left,

prekindergarteners listen closely to Ransome and on the right, first-grader Ziari Brown, with Ransome in the back-

ground, prepares for a lesson in drawing with numbers. Ransome spent the day at Pine Hills Elementary, and visited

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 Street.

 

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 Ije and Ivianna Ninstant

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

with. 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 seedling together.

 

        

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, Ahdyanna

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. (Click 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              the program.)

of Abigail and teacher Barb Rosselli.

 

        

Albany High School senior Katie Michaelis on March           New Scotland Elementary School English as a Second

24 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 and academics. Above, she               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

flair.

 

        

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 victims.

 

        

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 spearheaded.

 

         

"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!                                                  competitions. 

 

        

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.,           Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School student

center, on Jan. 12 received a $2,100 check from the            Sophie Boldiston, standing, spoke in December about    

African American Clergy for Empowerment that will             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 possible.                                         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, click here.

 

        

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

certificate.

 

        

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 achievement.

 

        

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

pumpkin pie. 

 

                

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 forum

at Albany High School. Several district officials participated in discussions with a delegation of 25 people from

the Turkish Ministry of Education. In the photo on the right, from left they are Marty Anderson, director of the College

Center, Dr. Tresa Diggs, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, Shalondra Addison, student represent-

ative to the Board of Education, and Dr. David McCalla, Albany High Principal. The visit was coordinated by the

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

cold-weather wear.     

 

        

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 Gay-Straight                 New Scotland Elementary School Art Teacher Deb

Alliance posed in front of the 284 pledges they                     Cronin and students show off panels they made for the

gathered from fellow students and staff affirming that            AIDS Memorial Quilt/Names Project. They dedicated     

schools should be safe places for all students.                        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,

                                                                                              click here.

 

        

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    

homecoming festivities, click here.                                         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

                                                                                               inductions story, click here

 

        

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

merengue.

 

        

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 year-              istered the oath of office to Dr. Steiner -- also at Pine

long program that teaches students about the law                 Hills Elementary.

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

Sophia Boldiston.    

                                                                                       

        

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 headquarters          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.                                                   through college.

 

               

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

playoffs.

 

        

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

with disabilities.                                                                  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.   

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