Joseph V Reilly , S&F

Joseph V. Reilly was inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame in 2015 for his service to his county, his 30+ years of teaching and administering in the Rensselaer City Schools and for his volunteer service to his community.

Joe graduated ahead of his class by 2 years, from St. John's Academy in Rensselaer in 1935. He received his BA in History from SUNY Oneonta, and his MA in Education and Administrative Certification from SUNY Albany. After college, he enlisted in the Army and served as a communication specialist during WWII. He was stationed in England, France, Iceland and Greenland. After the war, he started teaching Jr. High History. In the summer, he worked as the Director of Parks and Recreation and was one of the founding members of the City's Little League baseball organization which he worked with for many years. He was a great supporter of the (then) Rensselaer Boys Club.

Joe was promoted to principal of the Van Rensselaer Elementary School in the late 50's- early `60's, and then was appointed Superintendent in 1963. Many teachers Joe hired were alumni, some of whom are in the Hall of Fame. Joe had the kind of dedication that is exemplified by the story of how he worked all night the evening School #2 burned in 1967 to insure that not one student missed a day of instruction by placing them in other schools, churches and fire houses. During this time, he was crucial to obtaining the property on the riverfront for the new Junior-Senior High School. He worked long and hard to see this dream to fruition. His contacts with Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady, and Governor Malcolm Wilson aided in the purchase of the land from the rail road. He was a "hands-on" administrator, frequenting classrooms to see students and faculty working. He also served the Rensselaer community as clerk of the Public Library, and was a member of the Kiwanis, the Gerald O'Neil American Legion Post and was an active parishioner of St. Joseph's Church.

Joe lived in Rensselaer his whole life. He passed away in 1997. He was married to the late Anne Carey Reilly and they had six children and 18 grandchildren. Joe was nominated by his daughter Anne Reilly Vadney.

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