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The Civic Scene: Marshall addresses students at Hillcrest HS

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Principal Stephen M. Duch introduced a number of students who spoke of the many institutes in the school. Students from the 650 Pre-Medical Institute, the 750 Health Career Institute, the 275 Theatre Institute and the 300 Law and Community Action Institute told of their various rigorous programs. Marshall had visited Hillcrest H.S. recently and was familiar with many of the programs in the school.Group photos were taken, which included the many active parent leaders like Karen Tinsley, secretary; Anthony Lyons, treasurer; Irene Williams, chairwoman of fund raising; Parent Association President James DeVore; the UFT school representative Marilyn Beckford; and parent coordinator Cynthia Sanders along with Principal Duch. It is the work of all these people, with many others, which permits large high schools such as Hillcrest H.S. to function so well.Marshall congratulated the student representatives on their presentations about the programs they are majoring in. She talked directly to them when she told them how important it was that they learn and contribute to society. In response to a request, she briefly told her life story. She explained that her mother died when she was 3 years old from TB. She related this to what the pre-medical and the practical nursing students had learned about diseases. There was no medical cure for TB years in those days.She explained that years later when her stepmother had left, she was faced with having to leave Morris H.S. because there was no social welfare system which really cared that students should stay in school. She remembers that the strict Irish dean - the Irish were the teachers in the those days - brought in the local officials and sat them in her conference room, told them that this honors student had to finish high school and they better find a way to make it happen.Marshall went on to raise a family, get involved in her children's elementary school, become a teacher herself, work at several government jobs, become an Assembly member in Albany, a City Council member and then after Claire Shulman was forced to leave due to term limits, borough president. Since education is one of the primary concerns of local government, she visits many of our fine schools, like Hillcrest H.S. to see, congratulate when she sees something good and help when necessary.Principal Duch had a request for laptop computers for use in the new Future Academy being started in September. The academy will work to help students adjust to the rigorous demands of high school and will be led by Amar Nepal.Good and bad news of the weekThe mass transit system in New York City moves more than 3 million passengers a day. Last year the system moved about a third of the nation's mass transit riders, yet it only receives about 14 percent of all federal transit aid. In general, New York state sends $20 billion more in taxes to Washington than the state receives back in federal aid. The irony is that people from all over the United States come to see the sites in New York, yet we don't receive a fair amount of aid to move them around New York City.

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