The Tony Clement Center for Education

I remember Principal Tony Clement as the final administrator of Harriet Gibbons High School, back when the Albany City School District converted the beloved high school into a 9th grade preparatory academy.  He worked with the students and the faculty and the administration, he cared about them as if they were his family. That’s part…

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The reunion and the honor

What a wonderful night.  An absolutely wonderful night. Last evening, I was honored and blessed to watch my high school principal, Lillian Tillman-DeWitt, join six other honorees as the Albany City School District’s 2016 Hall of Fame class. The honorees were joined by over 200 attendees last night, including family, friends and supporters. First off,…

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Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor and Northway Mall

The passing of Gene Wilder yesterday caught us in our heart and in our soul.  One of the best actors of our generation, a man who could play comedy and tragedy and off-kilter characters, and switch from one genre to another with minimal effort, Gene Wilder was a true theater genius. And while most of…

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The Albany City School District 2016 Hall of Fame Class

A few months ago, I was pleased to share with all of you that my beloved high school principal, Lillian Tillman-DeWitt, was named to the Albany City School District Class of 2016.  The induction ceremony will take place on the weekend of September 16-17, as part of Albany High School’s Homecoming weekend. Mrs. T, however,…

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A star for Lillian Tillman-DeWitt

This is a commitment.  And I undertake it every year. The commitment is to find a way to nominate – and hopefully achieve induction of – various students and faculty from my high school, Street Academy of Albany (later Harriet Gibbons High School). So far, besides myself (Hall of Fame Class of 2011), I’m pleased…

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I won’t vote for Dan Egan because…

One thing you will always know about me.  Do the right thing by me, treat me with respect, and I will be as loyal as a puppy.  But if you ever do me wrong – if you hurt me, if you swindle me, if I still have knife marks in my back – then you…

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Celebrating Eileen Kawola

Today is Eileen Kawola’s birthday.  But that’s not the main reason why I’m writing today’s blog. Later next month, Eileen Kawola is going to receive a very special award.  And once again, it’s another triumph for my old high school, Street Academy / Harriet Gibbons High School. Background. When I arrived at Street Academy in…

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A prayer for “Gingo La Tresh”

Ahmed Naqi taught science and mathematics and almost every other subject at the Street Academy of Albany.  He was there when Harriet Gibbons was the principal (the school was renamed Harriet Gibbons High School after Ms. Gibbons’ passing), and he helped change and inspire young minds at the alternative high school for decades. And he…

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Lillian, Jennifer, Freda and me

It seems strange – the passing of three and a half decades of time. Three and a half decades.  Thirty-five years. Time that passed almost like thirty-five seconds. And our lives in thirty-five years all went in thirty-five different directions. And last night, some of our lives returned from our journeys throughout the diaspora.  We…

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