LATHAM — Four graduates were inducted into the Shaker High School Hall of Fame this year.
The Hall of Fame, created in 2009 to commemorate the high school’s 50th anniversary, is to honor graduates who are role models and can inspire current students to achieve their potential.
The 2022 Hall of Fame inductees are:
Shannon Frederick Meneses, Class of 1995
Meneses is the executive producer at Learning Games Network, a non-profit game studio dedicated to closing the gap between research and practice and builds award winning games across ages, content and devices.
Meneses is involved in all aspects of the production process — from inception to completion. She has led a team of writers, content experts, artists, animators and sound designers on a number of large-scale education projects, many exceeding million-dollar budgets. The gaming tools often has social conscious themes and values intertwined into the teaching components.
Before Learning Games Network, she was a senior producer at FableVision Studios and Six Red Marbles in Boston. She worked on MIT’s Lure of the Labyrinth as well as several PBS Kids Play! websites and games, including Jim Henson’s Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train TV shows. She began her career working in production at Disney Interactive Studios.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in television, radio and film from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. She currently serves on the School Committee for the Norfolk Public Schools.
She was nominated by Erin Frederick McMillen
Melissa Jeffers, Class of 2005
Jeffers is currently serving her second-term on the Town Board of Colonie.
A lifelong Colonie resident, she first decided to run for local office in 2017 at the age of 30. She received the most votes out of six total candidates for the Colonie Town Board and became the first millennial and one of the youngest officials ever elected in the history of the Town of Colonie.
During her first term in office, Jeffers gained invaluable experience about the inner workings of local government and worked collaboratively with her colleagues to move Colonie forward.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she created a social media group “Proud to be Colonie,” and began connecting residents with resources and causes to remain engaged. She also highlights the work of town employees as well as local schools and businesses. In 2021, Melissa was re-elected to a second term on the Colonie Town Board, again having received the most votes out of six candidates.
She currently works as the confidential secretary to a state Supreme Court justice in Albany County.
She was nominated by Anshu Sharma
Adam Kriss, Class of 1995
Kriss is an advocate for people with disabilities in Portland, Oregon. He worked at several colleges overseeing campus housing and helping students with course choices and other necessities of college life.
When Kriss moved to Portland to attain a degree in social work at Portland State University, he was appointed to the Portland Commission on Disabilities. He served on the committee on employment and accessible transportation. He also works for the Moda Center and the Portland 5 Theater Group in guest services. He is viewed as a positive role model for individuals with disabilities and not shy about speaking up to ensure that facilities and services are accessible and available to all.
Kriss also volunteers at the Planetarium at Oregon Museum of Science and Innovation. He guides children and adults into the exhibits, announces the program and recently learned to assist with the laser light show. What started out as just several hours every other week has increased, especially during school breaks and holidays.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Elon College and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
He was nominated by Carol Kriss
Jessica Kriss Saratovsky, Class of 1999
Kriss Saratovsky has served as principal at Public School 770 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for the past eight years. She was appointed as principal at the age of 32.
She has worked to increase the level of achievement of the students and the school is viewed as a positive place of learning and many parents check off the school as their first choice for kindergarten enrollment. Jessica has been interviewed several times by the New York City press and the reputation of the school is highly regarded by the state Department of Education.
She has also increased the partnership with other schools and services in the Crown Heights community.
She is devoted to her profession, to the students who attend PS 770, and their parents and caregivers.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College, a master’s degree in literacy from Hunter College, and a master’s degree in educational administration from Columbia University Teachers College and Hunter College.
She was nominated by Carol Kriss
Dr. James O. Jackson
Jackson spent his entire career in North Colonie at Shaker High School.
He served as a science teacher from 1963 to 1979, the science department supervisor from 1979 to 1991, and as the third principal from 1991 to 2006. His career spanned 42.5 years.
As principal, he created an all-Regents school, increased Regents diplomas from 66 percent to 96.6 percent. In 1998, he was named High School Principal of the Year by the Capital Area School Development Association.
During Jackson’s tenure, SHS was chosen and participated in a five-year comprehensive study and professional development sponsored by the Gates Foundation and facilitated by the International Center for Leadership in Education.
In addition to his work at North Colonie, Jackson is a lifetime member of the Albany Medical Center Board of Directors and a former member of the state Board of Regents. He has volunteered his time with various community organizations including the Albany Two Together program. He has over 25 peer reviewed articles in local and national magazines on education, educational philosophy, and leadership.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Geneva College, a master’s degree from the College of Saint Rose, and a PhD from Northwestern University.
He was nominated by William Serritella.