Updated 06/25/2012 05:40 PM
Albany High School will be led by one of its own
It's a full circle moment for an Albany High alum, now named as the school's new principal. As our Lori Chung reports, Cecily Wilson says she hopes to give back to the school that set her on a path to success.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "I have to say, it's a good day to be a falcon," said Cecily Wilson.
In fact, Wilson will be head falcon as Albany High's new interim principal, the same school where she graduated 17 years ago.
"I truly believe education is the great equalizer. I am a perfect example of that."
Wilson, 34, spent the last year as head of the Leadership Academy, one of the four new learning communities that now make up the school that are meant to improve student achievement. Her promotion is part of a broader plan to boost the school's 52 percent graduation rate.
"This has got to be 60 [percent] and it's got to be 70 and it's got to be 80 and that can happen" said Dr. Raymond Colucciello, Albany School District Superintendent.
To that end, district officials say Wilson has already begun implementing focused initiatives like professional development for teachers. The transformational plan is also putting new attention on helping students transition from ninth to 10th grade.
"If they leave us in ninth grade, we're going to keep those low rates of graduation" said Colucciello. "We need to keep them everyday throughout their freshman year for four years."
After graduating high school, Wilson went on to Princeton University and returned here to give back to the city that set her on a path to success. She says walking these same halls has helped her forge a bond with students who can now see themselves in her.
"There are so many Albany High graduates who go on to do amazing things" said Wilson. "So don't count Albany High out at all."