School board member, Albany High senior
honored on Henry Johnson Day
N.Y. (June 5, 2019) --
Albany Board of Education member Tabetha Wilson on Wednesday was awarded
the Henry Johnson Award for Distinguished Community Service by Mayor
And Albany High School senior Irene Nelson received a scholarship from
the Albany Housing Coalition for her essay on what Henry Johnson means
Their recognitions were a part of the third annual Henry Johnson Day
celebration and the city's observation of the 101st
anniversary of Henry Johnson's actions in combat that earned him a
posthumous Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross and U.S.
Congressional Medal of Honor.
Fittingly, the event took place in Henry Johnson Park, located
between Colonie Street and Livingston Avenue on Henry Johnson Boulevard.
The Henry Johnson Award for Distinguished
Community Service is given in the spirit of Albany resident Henry
Johnson, in honor and recognition of his selfless service and his drive
to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Besides serving on the Board of Education,
Tabetha Wilson works for the New York State Office of Temporary
Disability Assistance, the agency overseeing programs for low-income
serves on many non-profit boards including AVillage Inc., the Capital
District New Leaders Council and Grand Street Community Arts.
"I am honored, humbled and completely surprised that my peers
thought to nominate me for this award,” Wilson said. "This is of great
significance to me personally because of the intersection between Arbor
Hill – where I grew up -- and Sgt. Henry Johnson, a heroic figure in our
collective hearts, for his fearlessness in the face of war, and his
outspokenness against racism.”
Wilson received a minted silver commemorative Henry Johnson Medal.
Irene Nelson is a member of Albany High’s Sgt. Henry Johnson Junior ROTC
battalion. She represented Albany High at the prestigious Empire Girls
State during the summer 2018. Her scholarship – $1,000 each year over
four years – came from the Albany Housing Coalition, a group that works
to find housing for veterans.
Nelson is currently
trying to decide whether to attend SUNY Polytechnic Institute or Hudson
Valley Community College this fall.
Henry Johnson was an infantry soldier who served
during World War I, a time when African-Americans and whites were in
segregated units. Serving with the French on the front line, Johnson’s
actions in combat earned him France’s highest military honor, the Croix
de Guerre avec Palme. All his U.S. honors were awarded posthumously.
The mission of the City School District of
Albany is to educate and prepare all students for
college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our
diverse community. The district serves
students in 18
elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood
schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as
well as other innovative academic opportunities for students,
including four themed academies at Albany High