The South Colonie CSD continues to report on alumni who look to share their stories and memories of their time spent in the district. This week, we introduce you to the Lansing brothers. Learn about their time at South Colonie and how it shaped their future pathways.
Meet John (Class of 2005), Stephen (Class of 2008), Joseph (Class of 2012) and Andrew (Class of 2015). John Lansing is currently Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology at Albany Medical Center. Joseph Lansing is an attorney at Albany Law School working in the Health Law Clinic and Stephen Lansing is currently a consultant for NYSTEC.
What was your experience(s) in South Colonie and how did it shape your pathway to a career?
Stephen: South Colonie encouraged me to think critically about my contribution to society. These experiences showed me that I wanted to pursue a career in public service and social welfare.
Andrew: I had the pleasure of being in the School to Work Program, which gave me the opportunity to experience different work settings. During that time, I met many wonderful people who continue to recognize me and acknowledge how hard I worked for them in their businesses. That means a great deal to me. My job coaches were so committed to helping me every day. Due to the pandemic, I am currently at home but will be back out in the workforce soon.
John: At South Colonie, I was able to be involved various groups, including AP classes, the school senate, orchestra, national honor society, and lacrosse team. These experiences ultimately made me well prepared for my career in medicine.
Joseph: South Colonie allowed me the opportunity to develop in many ways which helped me become the lawyer I am today. There were so many different classes that steered me toward law. South Colonie presents so many options in the courses they offer that you can get a sense of what career is best for you.
What do you feel defines the South Colonie CSD experience?
Stephen: “Truth, justice, and the American way.”
Andrew: My South Colonie experience made me aware that I was able to express myself freely while recognizing that each year and each teacher would be unique and challenging.
John: The relationship I had with mentors and friends, some of which I now consider family, define my time at South Colonie Central School District. At the South Colonie School District, there is a sense of community that goes unmatched.
Joseph: I think it is difficult to articulate this question because everyone’s experience is different. For me, I was another Lansing that went to South Colonie and it was always something I shared with my three brothers, Jack, Stephen and Andrew. My experience was defined by the extracurricular activities that I participated in and the classes I took, which ultimately led me to my career in law.
Were there specific programs/teachers that affected your educational achievements?
Stephen: I really enjoyed having Mr. Taglione as a teacher at Sand Creek Middle School. He was a wonderful teacher that encouraged me to be more introspective.
Andrew: There were many teachers throughout my elementary, middle school and high school years who truly encouraged me with their kindness and recognition of my strengths. A few of my years at the middle school I enjoyed participating in the Germinator Club and Chorus, which opened new doors for me. The Teaching Assistants were always at my side keeping me safe with compassion and kindness.
John: Honestly, I would not want to leave anyone out so I would refrain on identifying one person as “the best”. With that being said, I will say that I loved my history, science and music classes. (If you gave me more leeway, I would have given you a novel).
Joseph: I think over the course of my time at South Colonie I had a number of teachers that helped shape me. I always gravitated to classes that focused on History and Politics. I really enjoyed AP European History and AP U.S. History with Mr. Daley & Mr. Shaffer. Those teachers made the course material interesting and encouraged discussion on important issues.
What advice would you offer to today’s students at South Colonie?
Stephen: Try courses and subjects that may be outside your comfort zone. This is a great way to find out what you really want to do for a career (and what you don’t want to do).
Andrew: Do your best, do what is right and make a difference in all you do!!
John: To the students at South Colonie, I would say always be yourself, never doubting yourself. Continue to follow your path and remember my favorite quote from John Greenleaf Whittier, “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.”
Joseph: The best advice I can give to today’s students is to make your time at South Colonie your own. Be the person you want to be and live the life that makes you happy. All three of my brothers had different experiences than me but each made us the people we are today. I met my wife, Iris, in high school and had countless experiences which I would not change for anything. Be open to new opportunities.