As the first disabled student to ever attend the Hempstead public schools, Governor Paterson graduated from the high school in 1971, one year ahead of his peers. After attending Columbia University and Hofstra University Law School, Paterson eventually became the minority leader of the New York State Senate and the first African American legislative leader in New York. Continuing again with a tradition of history making, Governor Paterson went on to become New York’s first African American governor in 2008.
In June the former Governor was honored by the Hempstead School District at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in which Fulton Elementary School was officially renamed the David Paterson Elementary School. The school is the first in the state named after Paterson. Students, teachers and residents were present on the front lawn of Fulton Elementary as they listened to Paterson recall the challenge of attending school after the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating desegregation, and they are excited for his upcoming return.
School Board President Betty J. Cross stated, “We could not be happier to have the former Governor act as Grand Marshall for homecoming this year. Aside from being a distinguished alumnus, his political success and ability to overcome hardship makes him an inspiration for all of our students.”
The homecoming festivities will lead up to the 2:00 p.m. football game against the Freeport Red Devils.