Mary E McNally , VRHS Class of 1928

Mary, or "Miss McNally" as many of us knew her, graduated from Rensselaer High School in 1928. While in high school she was in Honor Society all four years, in Theta Sigma Nu and the class play. She graduated and went to the NYS Teachers' College, where she graduated in 1932, with honors. She was in the Math Club while in college. Mary started her teaching career right away and never left for 41 years! Most of that time was as a High School Business Teacher.

Mary was active volunteering even during her teaching years. She was a member of District 3 of the State Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs (BPW) and belonged to the Democratic Women's Club. In the 60's, she was appointed by Governor Harriman as a member of the Fort Crailo Memorial Commission. Mary was also a Board Member of the Rensselaer Girls Club. She was the first president of the Rensselaer Historical Society, and Chair of the Rensselaer Bicentennial Committee in 1974, helping with the parade and other activities. She was twice Regent of the Fort Crailo Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, from 1951-4 and again from 1969-71, having been a member since 1940. While Regent, she helped create the Catherine Schuyler Chapter of the Children of the American Revolution. She was also a member of the National Retired Teachers Association and the National Association of Retired Persons. Mary also served on the Board of her church, the First Reformed Church of Albany.

Mary retired in 1973 and passed away at the age of 67 years young. She lived in Rensselaer all her life, never married, and was the daughter of former mayor Clarence McNally and Grace McNally. She was nominated by her niece, Denise Roberts Wright '83, English teacher at RHS and faculty advisor to the student Alumni Club.

Mary McNally was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 posthumously, for her academic and professional accomplishments, her dedication to the students of the Rensselaer School System, and her belief in preserving the history of the city of Rensselaer.

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