Noteworthy grads

March 10, 2011

Noteworthy graduates: Susan Isaacs, best-selling author

A politician campaigning in the boroughs chokes to death on a knish. A philandering periodontist is found murdered in his Nassau County office. It’s all vintage Isaacs, a world of murder, mayhem, mensches and suspense in suburbia. She’s been charming millions of readers with best-sellers since 1978. Her charmed life took her from PS 197 and IS 234 in Flatbush to Forest Hills HS to Queens College.

February 17, 2011

Noteworthy graduates: Deborah Dowling, NYS Supreme Court Justice

For New York Supreme Court Justice Deborah Dowling — who started out providing free legal services for needy people in the area of housing litigation, became director of the Legal Services New York City Housing Unit, then served as judge of New York City Housing Court — there’s no place like home.

February 3, 2011

Noteworthy graduates: Bruno Surpris, financial services firm VP

He went from a mud house with a leaking roof in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to a position as vice president at JPMorgan Chase in Manhattan. What happened along the way? Paul Robeson HS, says Bruno Surpris, support team manager of the bank’s global private equity fund services.

January 20, 2011

Noteworthy graduates: Michelle Gibson, CEO with a mission

The little girl from Trinidad and Tobago grew up to become a major player at several Fortune 500 companies, managing much larger budgets than when she was buying candy after school in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights.

December 16, 2010

Noteworthy graduates: Preeti Gupta, New York Hall of Science

Dr. Preeti Gupta, senior vice president for education and family programs at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, is an educator in the same borough where she first went to school at PS 95 in Hollis. She attended nearby IS 238 and graduated from Jamaica HS in 1991.

November 25, 2010

Noteworthy graduates: Ray Suarez, ‘PBS NewsHour’

There was a time when the renowned newsman Ray Suarez was just, as he put it, a “smart, mouthy Puerto Rican kid from Brooklyn.” Now he’s senior correspondent for the “PBS NewsHour,” author and 2010 inductee into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Hall of Fame. He rattles off his Bensonhurst schools and their cross streets as though he attended them yesterday: PS 128, PS 97, IS 281. He graduated from John Dewey HS in 1974. Of his public school education he says, “I am what you’d call a satisfied customer.”

November 11, 2010

Noteworthy graduates: Peter Yarrow of ‘Peter, Paul and Mary,’ education activist

The song titles of the famed folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary read like a libretto of the 1960s, a time of social and political awakening. The iconic Peter Yarrow remains a balladeer of change and compassion. In his current incarnation he is an advocate for holistic public school education, promoting nurturing learning environments free of bullying and violence.

October 28, 2010

Noteworthy graduates: Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator from Vermont

From Flatbush to Vermont to the Beltway, the journey of Sen. Bernie Sanders has been as original as it’s been successful. Although he caucuses with Democrats, Sanders belongs to no political party and is the longest-serving independent in the history of Congress. He’s respected for being blunt, fair and fiery: Get out of Iraq. Renegotiate NAFTA. Share the wealth. Support single-payer universal health care. And don’t mess with Social Security.

October 14, 2010

Noteworthy graduates: Ellen Baker, astronaut

The career of NASA astronaut and physician Ellen Baker was launched — literally — on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1989. The young doctor joined NASA in 1981 as a medical officer and was selected as an astronaut in 1984. Yet her hometown of New York City — where she attended PS 41, JHS 158 and Bayside HS, all in Queens — remains one of her favorite places on the third planet from the sun.

September 30, 2010

Noteworthy graduates: Fred Greenspan, master puppeteer

Fred Greenspan, who attended PS 95 and JHS 143 in the Bronx and graduated from Manhattan’s HS of Art and Design in 1969, is an educator whose lessons pack a lot of punch. And Judy. And Pulcinella and Scaramouche.

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