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Noteworthy grads | February 4, 2016 >>
To his great good fortune, Jonathan Kron discovered and was accepted into Townsend Harris HS, a mecca for smart oddballs, nerds and cut-ups. “It felt safe to be your uncool self and explore your passions and interests without being bullied or forced to conform,” says Kron.
Noteworthy grads | December 3, 2015 >>
On Sept. 11, 2001, Ayisha Irfan believed herself to be just another Brooklyn-born 13-year-old. “When I woke up the next morning, everything had changed dramatically,” says Irfan, now 27, and an analyst in charge of education, justice and policing for Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
Noteworthy grads | October 1, 2015 >>
An earnest and smart boy, Hari Kondabolu was blessed and cursed with the insatiable curiosity essential to a future writer and stand-up comic. “We were learning to think critically about the work of da Vinci and Chagall and Picasso and Klee, and we were in the third grade!” says Kondabolu of his experience at PS 69 in Jackson Heights.
Noteworthy grads | July 10, 2015 >>
Daniel J. Messina is an unabashed optimist, a fierce competitor who communicates in the tough-love, coach-talk of a lifelong athlete. Now the president and CEO of Richmond University Medical Center, Messina says his best school memories are from his time at New Dorp HS, where he may have shone more on the baseball field than behind a desk.
Noteworthy grads | May 7, 2015 >>
Andrea Hecht is a senior counsel for the Law Department of New York City. In Family Court, Hecht represents custodial parents who live out of state in matters from establishing paternity to securing child support payments from a parent who lives in New York City. She also conducts presentations at schools and throughout the community on child support and family law issues.
Noteworthy grads | March 5, 2015 >>
Gail Salem, an actress-turned-top-realtor, was a daydreamer as a child. The first teacher to penetrate Salem’s fanciful fortress of make believe was Mrs. Leherer, her 3rd-grade teacher at PS 184 in Whitestone, Queens, in the 1960s.
Noteworthy grads | January 8, 2015 >>
Everything Jani Decena-White, who teaches English at Hudson County Community College in New Jersey, needed to become an effective and inspiring educator, she learned in the fourth grade from Miss Harris, her teacher at PS 115 in Washington Heights.
Noteworthy grads | November 6, 2014 >>
Jelani Cobb, a graduate of Jamaica HS in the class of 1987, has constructed a life at the nexus of academia and journalism. “Jamaica HS set me in good stead academically, intellectually and socially,” he says.
Noteworthy grads | September 4, 2014 >>
One of the summer’s big stories was the environmental crisis in Toledo, Ohio, where algae blooms in Lake Erie made the water supply undrinkable for several days. It’s an issue with which Menachem Tabanpour is intimately familiar: He has been studying phosphorous in wastewater ever since he was a student at James Madison HS in Brooklyn.
Noteworthy grads | June 26, 2014 >>
George Monasterio oversees the design, construction and aesthetics of Grand Central and Metro-North’s outlying stations — which makes him responsible for supervising everything from the erection of railroad overpasses to the blueprints of a new store inside the terminal.
Noteworthy grads | May 15, 2014 >>
A silver medalist in fencing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Erinn Smart credits her Brooklyn public school teachers with helping her succeed in sports and life.
Noteworthy grads | March 27, 2014 >>
Millions read Jane Brody’s Personal Health column in The New York Times for advice on healthy eating, exercise and the latest research on staying hale and fit. Her column has run since 1976, but she’s been a staff writer at The Times since 1965, when she was the only woman in the science department.
Noteworthy grads | February 6, 2014 >>
From an early age, Liza Miller Davis, now an archeologist for New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, loved and excelled in math and science in an era when that was unusual for girls. Her public school teachers not only supported her academic interests, but helped her take the next step in her education.
Noteworthy grads | December 19, 2013 >>
Sandra Fabara, known as the “first lady of graffiti,” credits her public school teachers with encouraging her talent and modeling the life of a working artist. Her work is now in collections nationally, internationally and at the Metropolitan, Whitney and Brooklyn museums in New York City.
Noteworthy grads | October 17, 2013 >>
Working at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station among rocket ships and spacecraft, Brian Bomser says he is “literally living my dream.” That dream blasted off for Brian as a 7th-grader at Louis Armstrong MS, when the opportunity to attend space camp with his classmates launched him toward a career in aerospace engineering.
Noteworthy grads | September 5, 2013 >>
Edward Summers, as the director of the Kelly Adirondack Research Center at Union College, drives the research agenda for the study of the Adirondack Park. Summers credits his success to his experience in New York City public schools, from a 2nd-grade teacher who rewarded her class with a pizza party to a high school history teacher who engaged him with classroom debates.
Noteworthy grads | June 13, 2013 >>
A 1978 graduate of John Dewey HS in Gravesend, and before that of Reynolds JHS in Sheepshead Bay, the little boy who said “OK” a lot at PS 268 in East Flatbush went on to shine, thanks to a small, powerful teacher named Mrs. Leibowitz.
Noteworthy grads | May 16, 2013 >>
Judge Tingling, who halted Bloomberg’s ban on oversized sugary drinks, went to school in Harlem in the 1960s. “My 3rd-grade teacher Ms. Commack recently reached out to me; my teachers say they are proud of me. But not more than I am of them,” he says. “There’s no way I’d be doing this today without them."
Noteworthy grads | April 11, 2013 >>
Amanda Brown is familiar to millions as a contestant this past season on NBC’s hit vocal-competition show “The Voice.” After attending PS 163 and PS 58 in the Bronx, she went to MS 80, where music teacher David Kazansky pushed her in 8th grade to audition for LaGuardia HS of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
Noteworthy grads | February 28, 2013 >>
Joshua Freeman is a professor of history at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the author of numerous books and articles on the history of labor unions and the sociology of working-class people.