Patricia DiGrigoli, Distinguished Community Member
Ms. DiGrigoli has been involved with Ichabod Crane since 1976 when she worked as a District bus aide. She served a long tenure on the Board of Education from 1985-1994, during which she served as both President and Vice President. Ms. DiGrigoli is known for her ongoing generosity to the District, particularly her longtime support of the Ichabod Crane Closet and High School Teen Weekend Meal & Pantry programs. She always asks if the District community programs need specific items and is the first to provide them if so. Additionally, there are countless examples from over the years of Ms. DiGrigoli personally helping ICC classes finance projects, such as class plays. An involved community member outside the schools as well, her public service includes President of the Columbia Country Board (since 2012), Chairperson of the Valatie Ecumenical Food Pantry and a volunteer at St. John Baptist with their Community Thanksgiving & Easter Baskets.
Anthony Welcome, Distinguished Faculty/Staff
Mr. Welcome devoted his entire career to Ichabod Crane. A District employee from 1970 until his retirement in 2006, he began as a 4th-grade teacher. In 1988 he became Assistant Principal of the elementary schools. By 1990 he had been promoted to Principal of the elementary schools. In 1997, he became the Primary School Principal, a position he held until retirement. Mr. Welcome is fondly remembered by colleagues for his memory of student (and parent) names long after they left his schools and for his conflict resolution skills as an administrator. He ran for the Ichabod Crane Board of Education one year after his retirement, where he served as President from 2012-2018 and is currently the Vice President. Out in the community, Anthony has been heavily involved in many programs and held many roles including religious education teacher, little league coach, Kinderhook summer softball coach, performer at the local MacHayden Theater.
Judith Bury, Distinguished Community Member
Graduate of Ichabod Crane High School – Class of 1956
Mrs. Bury taught Home Economics at Ichabod Crane for nearly 30 years. She volunteers countless hours at her church and for the Ichabod Crane school community. Her ongoing dedication to Ichabod Crane is evidenced by her support of numerous programs aimed at helping others, including the Ichabod Crane Teen Weekend Meal Program, the Giving Tree and serving as a co-advisor of the high school’s Habitat for Humanity Club. Mrs. Bury is an active and dedicated volunteer in the greater community, including 4H and Warm Up America. Through her church, Mrs. Bury was instrumental in starting the Summer Free Lunch Program, which provides healthy lunch to Ichabod Crane students.
Chris Gibson, Distinguished Alumni
Graduate of Ichabod Crane High School – Class of 1982
Mr. Gibson earned a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. He served 24 years in the US Army, rising to the rank of Colonel. Mr. Gibson deployed seven times, including four combat tours to Iraq and was awarded numerous medals, including four Bronze Star Medals and the Purple Heart. He taught American Politics at West Point. Mr. Gibson was elected to Congress to serve the 20th Congressional District in 2010. He was re-elected to serve the 19th Congressional District for terms in 2012 and 2014. As Congressman, Mr. Gibson made every effort to be an active part of the district. He visited the schools to speak with students and shared his fond memories of his time at Ichabod Crane. He also made it a priority to meet with the 8th-grade students during their annual visit to DC and provide them with the best and most informative opportunities during their visit. Mr. Gibson is now the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College and the author of the books Securing the State and Rally Point.
Gail Nadeem Helfer, Distinguished Faculty
For 25 years, Mrs. Helfer taught music and high school theater at Ichabod Crane. She created the theater classes at the high school and assisted in developing state curriculum for high school theater. During her teaching career and as the long-time director of the Crane Acting Troupe, Mrs. Helfer instills in her students a passion for musical theater and performing. Under her leadership, two generations of Ichabod Crane students have gained on-stage and backstage experience and the Crane Acting Troupe has earned a reputation of excellence for its Broadway-style shows. The skills taught by Mrs. Helfer extend beyond her students’ formal education and positively impact their lives, whether they pursue a career in theater or something else. Former students and taxpayers who have no other connection to the school come back to her productions year after year.
Joyce Gould Robinson, Distinguished Faculty in Memoriam
For 35 years, Mrs. Gould Robinson taught social studies and economics at Ichabod Crane Central School District at the middle and high school levels. She was a chairperson of the social studies department, advisor to student council and cheerleading and an active member of the Booster Club. Mrs. Gould Robinson and students created Operation Cheer Up, a monthly newsletter which was mailed to district alumni in the Persian Gulf War to help them feel closer to home. .She created the Jerry B. Gould Memorial Scholarship to help graduating seniors continue their student/athletic education beyond high school. After retiring from Ichabod Crane in 1998, Mrs. Gould Robinson began a 10-year career with the NYS Assembly. She passed away in 2012. The E. Joyce Gould Robinson Scholarship is presented annually to an Ichabod Crane graduating senior who best exemplifies the ideals she aspired to instill in her students: a passion for US history, a civic-minded spirit and a drive to better the school and community.