Philip Erlich is being inducted into the Hall of Fame for his contributions to the RCSD over the course of his long career and for his volunteer work with the Rensselaer library and community.
Phil attended Van Rensselaer Elementary school until 8th grade and completed high school at Albany Academy. After graduation he attended Hamilton College and attained a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then enrolled in St. Rose and graduated with a Master of Science in Elementary Education with additional course work in Administration and Supervision (60 hrs.) at SUNYA.
Phil began his long career with the Rensselaer School District in the mid-sixties at School 2 teaching 5th and 6th grades. He then went on to become Principal of Fort Crailo School. Following that he became Director of Federal Programs, bringing Head Start to the city. He developed programs in psychological services, dental hygiene, social service home visits, remedial elementary summer school, and a remedial Jr. High School evening program. He subsequently held positions of Assistant and Acting Superintendent and Director of Pupil Personnel Services. In addition to the duties associated with these positions, he tutored a preparatory class of the NYS scholarship exam and the “Answers Please” team, and private students. He was Key Club and Extra Curricular Funds Advisor.
Phil has served as both an appointed and elected School Board member and Vice President, on the Rensselaer Public Library Commission and as President and VP of the Upper Hudson Library System Board. His work with the library lead to the Learning Center being dedicated in his name last year. He taught church school at the Church of the Redeemer for over 50yrs. and was a member of the Rensselaer Planning Commission. His volunteer work also took on a personal investment in fostering two teenagers whose mother had died and whose father was institutionalized. He has also served on the United Way Allocations Panel directing funds to programs serving underprivileged and “at risk” children.
Phil was nominated by his brother-in-law and colleague, Ernie Mann and co-sponsored by his nephew Stephan Mann, and colleagues and friends, Jim Cochran, Fran Pilato, and Mary VanLeuven, all of whom are Hall of Famers. Phil lives in Rensselaer with his wife Rosemary.