Albany High School (Albany, New York)

Albany High School (Albany, New York)

name =Albany High School

imagesize =110 px
motto =Assiduity
established =September 7, 1868
type =Urban public high school
affiliation =
district =Albany City School District
grades =9-12
president =
principal =F. Maxine Fantroy-Ford
head of school =
dean =
faculty =217
staff =
students =
enrollment =2,600
athletics =
conference =
colors =Blue and gray
mascot =Falcon
free_label =Accreditation
free_text =Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
International Baccalaureate World Schools
free_label2 =Nicknames
free_text2 ="Albany High", AHS, "Home of the Falcons", "The High"
location =700 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12203
information =
website =

Albany High School (AHS) in Albany, New York is a public high school which had an enrollment of 2,659 in 2006. The school is part of the Albany City School District. It opened on September 7, 1868 as the Albany Free Academy. The current location of Albany High School is 700 Washington Avenue, to which it was relocated in 1974.

Albany High School is an International Baccalaureate school with an Advanced Placement program. The principal is F. Maxine Fantroy-Ford. The school newspaper is "The Patroon," the literary magazine is "Inkblot", and the yearbook is "Prisms".

Albany High School is the only comprehensive public high school in the city.


Albany High has a wide variety of academic programs, including a longstanding Advanced Placement program offering 19 courses. [] In 2005, AHS was accredited as an International Baccalaureate World School and introduced an IB Diploma Program, which consists of a series of college-level courses for juniors and seniors leading to an alternative diploma. [ [ Albany High School ] ]

Most academic courses are taught at Core, Regents, and Honors levels. Four foreign languages (Spanish, French, Chinese, and Latin) are available. Within New York State, AHS is the only public school outside of New York City to offer any form of Chinese as a foreign language. The school also has Senior Career Explorations (internships) in six areas [ [ Senior Career Exploration Programs ] ] and a Project Lead the Way engineering program. An annex, the Abrookin Vocation-Technical Center, offers many career and technical courses.


Albany High School has a number of clubs; among the more active of these are the Drama Club, Speech and Debate Team, FIRST Robotics, Inkblot (a literary club), Prisms (the yearbook club), NYODA Step Team, International Club, Key Club, Chess Club, Ski Club, Math Club, Art Club, Video Production Club, Captains' Club, Peace & Social Justice Club, Anime Club, Fashion Club, Jewish Student Union, National Honor Society, Masterminds, Gay/Straight Alliance, Mock Trial, and Best Buddies. In addition, the school has a club for each of the four languages offered. [ [ Clubs ] ]


Albany High School's interscholastic athletics program is affiliated with the Big Ten Conference of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (Section II). Fall interscholastic sports include American football for men; cheerleading, volleyball, tennis, and swimming/diving for women; and cross country, soccer, and golf for men and women. Winter sports include swimming/diving and wrestling for men; cheerleading and step/drill for women; and basketball, bowling, and indoor track for men and women. Spring sports include baseball and tennis for men; softball and step/drill for women; and outdoor track for men and women. [ [ Sports ] ] Many sports are played at both varsity and junior varsity levels, and intramural activities are also offered.


Albany High's current location at 700 Washington Avenue opened in 1974. The school consists of three brick buildings connected by indoor pedestrian bridges. The largest of these, the academic building, contains the classrooms, cafeterias, and media center. Across from the academic structure are the physical education building (housing the gymnasiums, locker rooms, and HVAC equipment) and another building containing the main office, auditorium, and music classrooms. Three bridges on the second floor connect the buildings.

Academic building

The academic building is the largest edifice on the Albany High School campus and the only one with three stories. The ground floor contains the cafeterias, kitchen, special education classrooms, art studios, Falcon Shop (school store), and various other classrooms. The second floor is the main hub of the school because it is connected to the other two buildings by the pedestrian bridges. It contains the media center (the large school library housing over 26,000 books [ [ "Albany's public schools by the numbers" from "Capital Education", Spring 2008] ] as well as PC desktop computers), college center (a relatively new room with computers intended to be used by students to research colleges), and many classrooms. The third floor, which once housed the now-defunct Ninth Grade Academy, is entirely occupied by classrooms. All the science labs are located on this floor.

The dominant architectural feature of the rectangular building is its six towers, numbered one through six. Towers One, Two, and Three are on the west side, and Towers Four, Five, and Six are on the east side. The towers contain stairwells, restrooms, and assorted offices (Tower Two contains the school's elevator). They also have skylights above each stairwell. Tower Five has traditionally been the most important of these structures. Prior to the installation of metal detectors in Fall 2006, it was the main entrance for students. Students often congregate near Tower Five on the second floor between classes. In February 2006, the stairwells in Towers One to Three were restricted to down traffic, and those in Towers Four to Six were restricted to up traffic.

The academic building is divided into North and South Houses. Each student is randomly assigned a house upon enrolling in the school. Although they are mainly administrative divisions, the houses determine some class assignments. Each has its own administrative office, guidance office, and health office.

Room numbers in the academic building have three digits, with the first digit indicating the floor number. The other two digits depend on the house, with North House rooms having odd numbers and South House rooms having even numbers. Rooms numbers increase as one goes towards the center of the building. The complex numbering system of the interior rooms often confuses those new to the school.

Albany High previously contained four cafeterias labeled "northeast", "northwest", "southeast", and "southwest." In the summer of 2006, the dividing walls between the east and west cafeterias were demolished, so the school now has two cafeterias (titled "north" and "south").

Physical education building

The physical education building contains the indoor athletic facilities. These include the main gymnasium (which can be divided into three smaller gyms using motorized curtains), "Rubber Gym" (a smaller gym named for its floor material), wrestling gym, dance studio, and six-lane swimming pool. The Rubber Gym contains a rock climbing wall that is not currently used, likely due to safety concerns. The building also houses the male and female locker rooms, the athletic health office, the athletic director's office, and the Falcon Fitness Center, a recently renovated weight room. On the first floor of the two story building is the boiler room housing the school's heating equipment. The two air conditioning units, which produce a load roar during the warmer months, are located on the roof.

Auditorium building

The third building on the Albany High campus houses the auditorium, main offices, and music classrooms. The diamond shaped auditorium has red cushioned seats and a triangular stage. Located on the ground floor, the music facilities include a rehearsal rooms, choir room, office, and several practice rooms. The auditorium building contains the main lobby and serves as an entrance for school visitors.


The courtyard is located between the three buildings. A brick and concrete space with small trees and many benches, it serves as a meeting place for students. During much of the school year, eating lunch in the courtyard is a popular activity. Because it only has a few storm drains, large puddles often form after rain showers and linger for days. Some brickwork in the ground has decayed, but new masonry was added recently in a courtyard beautification project.

Athletic fields

The Albany High campus contains athletic fields for soccer, baseball, American football, and softball. It also has seldom-used basketball and tennis courts; there are no rims on the basketball court and the tennis courts are overgrown with weeds, making them unusable. The school's red running track was resurfaced in 2003.

Parking lots

Albany High School has two main parking lots. The Washington Avenue parking lot is located next to the auditorium building. It primarily contains spots for visitors and administrators. The larger Main Avenue parking lot is located next to the academic building. Most teachers park in assigned spots in this lot. A smaller parking lot is located next to the physical education building. The school used to provide parking for seniors, but it has discontinued this practice. Students with cars, therefore, park on streets surrounding the campus.

Abrookin Vocation-Technical Center

The Abrookin Vocation-Technical Center is an annex located close the high school. It houses the Career Academy, which offers many career and technical courses in fields such as construction, cooking, electricity, engineering, and computers. About 300 students are enrolled in the Career Academy full time, but many others walk to the building for one period a day to take a technical class. Also known as "the Occ.", the center is named after the late school board member Manny Abrookin (1927-1994).


Of Albany High School's approximately 2600 students, about 60% are African American, 25% are White (non-Hispanic), 10% are Hispanic, 3% are Asian, and fewer than 1% are Native American. [ [ Student Teacher Ratio Albany High School - Albany, New York - NY ] ] [ [ Albany High School - Albany, New York/NY - Public School Profile ] ] Seventy percent of students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch and the attendance rate is 87%. The school has over 200 teachers with a student to teacher ratio of 12:1. [ [ "Times Union" Report Card on the Schools] ] Albany High enrolls students from over 40 foreign nations.

Distinguished alumni

*Tracy Baskin - Former Olympian 800m, former 4 by 4 co-world record holder, #3 rank 1988 US men 800m []
*Carolee Carmello - Broadway actress who made her Broadway debut in "City of Angels"; she recently starred in "Lestat" and "Parade". She is currently starring in "Mamma Mia!".
*Lionel Chalmers - Successful basketball player who went from Albany High to Xavier University and eventually to the NBA. He was drafted by the LA Clippers and traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 2005-2006 NBA season.
*Jason Gough - Meteorologist at News Channel 13 in Albany
*Stefon Harris - Class of 1991 - Jazz musician, vibraphonist
*Charlie Leigh - NFL played for the 17-0 1972 Miami Dolphins Super Bowl Champions, primarily as a kick returner.
*Todd Levin - Comedian and humorist who has appeared on Comedy Central
*Matthew R. Lewin - Class of 1973 - Bond counsel to the Chicago Housing Authority
*Charlayne Woodard - Award-winning American film, stage and television actor and playwright.


Albany High School opened on September 7, 1868 as the Albany Free Academy with 141 students. The school was housed in Van Vechten Hall at 119 State Street until May 4, 1876, when it was relocated to Eagle Street (where the Albany County Courthouse is now located). In 1913, the school was moved to a more central location between Washington and Western Avenues. This "old" Albany High School building still stands, and it housed Philip Schuyler Elementary School until 2004. Prior to 1974, Albany had two high schools, Albany High School and Philip Schuyler High School. That year, the institutions were merged to form the "new" Albany High, located at 700 Washington Avenue (the school's current location).

Recently, Albany High has had issues with violence amongst students. Following several fights in 2006, the school began random searches, and in 2007 the police donated two metal detectors to add to security. The last day of the 2006-2007 school year was interrupted by a large brawl in the cafeteria that forced a lockdown. The school has also initiated a stricter ID policy. AHS has continued to have problems with violence, with two police injured and nine students arrested in the beginning of the 2007-08 school year, [ [ A difficult foe in student fracas - Page 1 - Times Union - Albany NY ] ] and the last day of school that year was canceled due to incidents the day before. In September 2008, the first two days of classes were canceled due to scheduling problems. [Scott Waldman, [ "Lesson in patience at city schools."] "Times Union", September 5, 2008.]


*1868-86: John E. Bradley
*1886-1911: Oscar D. Robinson
*1911-16: Frank A. Gallup
*1916-51: Dr. Harry E. Pratt
*1951-59: Stanley Heason
*1959-67: Douglas Lincoln
*1968-86: John Bach
*1987-95: David McGuire
*1995-98: Dr. Willard Washburn
*1998-2001: Dr. John Metallo
*2001-02: John Pellitier
*2002-06: Michael T. Cioffi
*2006-Present: F. Maxine Fantroy-Ford

Sources: [] , []

Gerald Jennings served as vice principal under John Bach prior to being elected mayor of Albany.

Valedictorians and salutatorians

Class rank is determined from an unweighted average of all courses taken in grades nine through twelve. The valedictorian delivers an address at commencement exercises, which are held in late June at SEFCU Arena.

*2002: Christopher Paynter
*2003: Joshua Goldman, William Tobin Przylucki
*2004: Benjamin Colman, Nerissa Clarke
*2005: Joshua Hancox, Kelly McKay
*2006: Sarah Magidson, Jasmine Mauger
*2007: Lucy Reeder, Benjamin Pastel
*2008: Rachel Rudinger, Benjamin Amodeo

Alma Mater

:Hail, Alma Mater, Hats off to you.:Ever you'll find us Loyal and true;:Firm and undaunted Ever we'll be.:Albany High, we love, Here's a toast to thee.

Mission Statement

Albany High's Mission Statement was printed on all school mailings beginning in 2006. It reads as follows:

We believe that all students can and will learn. An excellent education will lead to the development of responsible citizens in our school and community. All students will be challenged in a comprehensive educational setting. It is the goal of Albany High School to enable each student to realize their full potential and enhance lifetime opportunities.


* [ Albany High School History]

ee also

* Albany City School District
* List of high schools in New York

External links

* [ Albany High School website] :* [ "The Patroon"] (school newspaper)
* [ Albany High Blog] - A weblog written by AHS students at the "Times Union" website

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