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Rossiter: Remembering Schodack Superintendent Robert Horan

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When I first met Mr.Horan it was at a Maple Hill varsity basketball game. Back then he was the principal, and I couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old. All I can remember from that day was his welcoming presence, something I would come to know and appreciate even more as I grew.

In my 6th grade year at Maple Hill Middle School, he became Superintendent of schools. From day 1 you could tell he was different, walking the halls daily and going out of his way to interact with every student he came across. That’s where Mr.Horan really stood out. Some superintendents barely even see all the students in their district, yet he made it a point to take the time to know each and every single one of us. It didn’t matter if you were the troublemaker or the teacher’s pet. He took a genuine interest in all of his students, no matter the circumstance. He genuinely cared, it was more than a job for him.

It’s this love for his students that motivated Mr. Horan to constantly push for more and more opportunities for them. A pioneer, Horan opened the door for outsiders to come into his schools. By putting businesses in unused district space, he was able to give students real world opportunities with startups like MICROrganic.

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A former technology teacher, Mr. Horan clearly valued tech in the classroom and beyond. Over the years he was instrumental in putting a Schodack education into the 21st century. Through his support, distance learning broadened course offerings that our district and others might not otherwise be able to provide, such as Chinese, accounting, and sign language.

His most recent endeavor, “The Capital Project” is set to teleport the educational experience of many, with virtually a brand new state of the art combined middle and high school to open somewhere around the 2018 school year.

He often told students at graduation, “it’s ok to make mistakes, the important thing is that you learn from them.” Although he is no longer with us in person, the lessons he instilled and values he exemplified will forever live on.

 

Dylan Rossiter is the Upstate Courier's founder and Editor-at-Large. He has covered Siena College men's basketball, the Tri-City ValleyCats, and Section II Athletics. Rossiter is based in Boston, MA and can be reached at Rossiter@UpstateCourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByDylanRossiter.

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