Amsterdam High football star earns a spot at the Coast Guard Academy


When Alejandro Christopher from Amsterdam graduates from high school in Amsterdam, he will receive more than a diploma for completing grade 12 on June 26.

Christopher will also receive an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Technology from Fulton-Montgomery County Community College and an appointment to the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He earned enough college credits for the degree while also earning high school credits through an advanced study program.

He hopes to graduate from high school with a GPA of 98.94 and college with a GPA of 3.96 out of a possible 4.

“I obtained my Associate Degree in Electrical Technology from Fulton-Montgomery Community College while participating in the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery P-Tech program,” said Christopher. “The program has a competitive application process at the end of eighth grade. Students in the Amsterdam School District can apply and, if selected for the P-Tech program, can earn both a high school diploma and a two-year university degree from FMCC by the end of their last year as a high school student. Essentially I doubled my course load in high school and finished high school by the end of grade 10 (including all Regents exams), then went full time to FMCC for grade 11 and the 12th grade. I also took classes at the University of Albany during the winter semester.

Christopher not only excelled academically, he excelled in college football and wrestling. He played as a starter on the Amsterdam Rugged Rams’ offensive, defensive and special teams. It is a state twice Class A Section II 2sd Team All-Star as linebacker and All-Area All-Star as linebacker. He was also named to the Foothills 2sd Team and rookie of the year as a wrestler.

His academic and athletic skills caught the attention of the Coast Guard Academy. The academy recruited him to play on their football team as an inside linebacker.

Christopher is one of 285 members of the new 2015 Cadet Class. Over 2,000 men and women applied for the highly competitive slots. Christopher and the other new cadets will be sworn in on June 28 at the academy.

He is the son of James Christopher of Amsterdam and the grandson of Thomas and Jennifer Christopher of Broadalbin.

New Commander

Lt. Col. Joshua Heimroth of Albany, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, assumed command of the New York National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion in a ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Saratoga, Saratoga Springs.

He now heads the 260-member unit, which has soldiers stationed across the state. They are responsible for enlisting new Army National Guard soldiers and helping to retain soldiers.

Heimroth replaced Lt. Col. Bryan Hyer of Stillwater, who is retiring after 26 years of service.

Heimroth was previously the managing director of Major-General Ray Shields, the adjutant general of the state.

He enlisted in the Army in 1997 and served as a gun crew member in the 82nd Airborne Division. He was appointed an officer in 2006, serving in the Military Intelligence Corps.

His assignments included a Battalion Operations Officer, a Personnel Officer, a Joint Personnel Officer, a Company Commander in the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, and an Assistant Intelligence Officer for the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

He served in Afghanistan as a Special Operations Forces Staff Officer supporting the NATO training mission there.

Heimroth holds a BA in Marketing and Management from Siena College, Loudonville and an MA in Human Resources Management from Webster University. He is also a graduate of the Command and Staff College.

He was awarded a Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Joint Meritorious Unity Award, Senior Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge, as well as German and French parachutist badges.

ShopRite supports veterinarians

The Tri-County Council of Vietnam Era Veterans received a donation of $ 40,000 from ShopRite.

Front Row Left to Right: Tom Regan, Tom Marrinello, American Gold Star Mothers Carrie Farley, Chapter 11 President, and Cindy A. Roberts, State President; ShopRite Supermarkets Managers Bob Gillick, Slingerlands Store Manager, Steve Savas, President and COO, Michael Schoendorf, Vice President of Operations, and Kevin Hicks, Sr. and Shannon L. DeFreese, Human Resources Specialists , Tri-County Council of Vietnam Era Veterans President Joe Pollicino.

From left in the middle with a check: Burt Thorne, Bob Allyn, John Del Balso, Jerry D’Amelia and George LaMora help display a $ 40,000 donation from ShopRite to the veterans group.


Bob Gillick, ShopRite Supermarket Manager, Slingerlands ShopRite Manager; Steve Savas, President and Chief Operating Officer; Michael Schoendorf, vice president of operations, and Kevin Hicks Sr. and Shannon DeFreese, both human resources specialists, presented a check for $ 40,000 to Joe Pollicino, president of the Tri-County Council of Vietnam Era Veterans, at the store ShopRite Slingerlands, for the Campaign 2021 veteran.

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