3 boro women honored by state Senate in Albany

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Amy Fischetti, director of the Queens County Farm Museum; Claire McIntee, superintendent of...

By Adam Kramer

Three well-known northeast Queens residents shared the spotlight Tuesday when they were honored as New York State Women of Distinction by the state Senate.

Amy Fischetti, director of the Queens County Farm Museum; Claire McIntee, superintendent of School District 26; and Irene Scheid, executive director of the Alley Pond Environmental Center, were joined by women from throughout the state at the fourth annual Women of Distinction celebration at the Capitol in Albany.

“The 11th Senate District is fortunate to have so many qualified and accomplished women,” said state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) who submitted the names of the three women. “This decision is never easy, but through their achievements Fischetti, McIntee and Scheid have enriched the cultural and educational standing of our community and borough.”

Similar to the previous recipients over the past four years, the three women are people of stature in the community and should be admired, Padavan said. He said each has made giving of themselves to the northeast Queens community a major part of their lives.

Borough President Claire Shulman received the honor last year.

The Senate Majority’s Women of Distinction program — started in 1998 — consists of an exhibit which honors the state’s historic women and includes a reception for the women being celebrated for their contribution to their communities.

Fischetti, a Queens resident for more than 20 years, has worked at the Queens Farm Museum since 1988 and became its executive director in 1992. During her tenure at the museum she has made it her goal to turn the boroughwide institution into a citywide museum and attraction, Padavan said. Today, attendance at the museum has jumped from 100,000 in 1992 to over half a million. ]

“This world-class museum and educational facility is something Queens residents can be proud of,” Padavan said, “and Amy’s dedicated stewardship of the museum is admirable.”

McIntee was appointed to lead PS 94 in Little Neck in 1984 and spent 13 years helping to turn the school into one of the city’s best in student performance. In 1997 she was chosen by the city schools chancellor and community school board to be the district’s superintendent. In 2000, McIntee was reappointed to lead one of the highest performing school districts in the city for another three years.

“With all the talk of school funding, class size and higher standards, Claire has quietly gone about working with the staff, students and parents to not only meet but to exceed expectations,” Padavan said. “In the face of what can be overwhelming odds, Claire has done a phenomenal job. She is an educational role model.”

Scheid has been with the Alley Pond Environmental Center since 1980 when she worked as an intern while getting her degree from St. John’s University. Making her way through the ranks she became interim executive director in 1990. The “interim” was removed from her title the following year.

“The scope and number of educational and cultural projects that the Alley Pond Environmental Center is involved with each year is astounding,” Padavan said. “Irene Scheid, as executive director, has proven extremely effective. Her dedication, coupled with her high level of managerial skills has served APEC well. Alley Pond is a gem in northeastern Queens and it has sparkled under Irene’s management.”

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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