James Kapp is being inducted in to the Hall of Fame for his career and dedication to students and other children he taught, coached and gave a better life to.
Jim Kapp is not an alumnus of Rensselaer public schools, although he grew up in Rensselaer and taught in the district. He went to elementary school at St. Joseph’s in Rensselaer and graduated from Lasalle Institute in Troy, NY in 1969. He volunteered at events and as a CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) basketball coach. He enrolled in Siena College where he obtained a Bachler of Science degree majoring in Political Science with an Education minor. Then it was on to SUNY Albany for his Master of Science in Educational Administration.
Jim’s 32year career in teaching and educational administration started in 1973 at Rensselaer Jr. Sr. High School. He was there until 1980 where he taught grades 7 & 8 Social Studies. During his time in the district, Jim also coached J.V. basketball and assisted Coach Dave Foust in Varsity helping to win three consecutive championships. He also coached a summer league without compensation and was city Director of the Recreation Department. Jim served the city as 9th ward Alderperson from 1974-76. He moved to the Hudson Falls High School where he taught for the next 11 years during which time (1988) he adopted his Brazilian daughter, Seairah. In 1992 Jim left Hudson Falls for a position as Principal of School #2 in Troy and was there until 2005 when, as some of us remember, Jim had an accident which happened at school and was in the news. The accident caused a T12 spinal burst which left him paralyzed. Jim retired to recuperate and spend more time with his family.
Jim was nominated by alumnus Barry Cavanaugh, a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee and endorsed by 2018 Hall of Fame inductee David Foust ‘71. Dave worked with Jim and Barry was coached by him. Jim lives in Troy and along with his daughter, he has 4 grandchildren now.