The Alumni Hall of Fame was created in 2009 to commemorate Shaker High School’s 50th anniversary. The Hall of Fame honors graduates who are role models and can inspire students to continue the tradition of excellence which defines the community.
Congratulations to our 2022 Inductees
Shannon Frederick Meneses, Class of 1995
Dr. James O. Jackson, Special Honoree
Melissa Jeffers, Class of 2005
Adam Kriss, Class of 1995
Jessica Kriss Saratovsky, Class of 1999
The Class of 2022 bios are listed below. For previous Alumni Hall of Fame inductees, click here.
Class of 2022
Shannon Frederick Meneses is a leader in the field of educational media. Shannon possesses 20+ years of top-notch technical, creative, and management skills and has broken many barriers in the industry.
She is currently the Executive Producer at Learning Games Network, a non-profit learning game studio that is dedicated to closing the gap between research and practice and builds award winning games across ages, content, and devices. These educational games feature inspiring design, innovative pedagogy, and sound business strategy.
As a producer, Shannon is involved in all aspects of the production process – from inception to completion. She has led numerous large-scale educational technology projects simultaneously, with many projects exceeding million-dollar budgets. She has inspired and managed large project teams consisting of writers, content experts, artists, animators, developers, directors, and sound designers. Her work can often have social conscious themes and values intertwined into the teaching components of these gaming tools.
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 has presented and served on panels in the educational space where she continues to be an inspiration to young women looking to pursue a career in media and technology. She currently serves on the School Committee for the Norfolk Public Schools.
Dr. James O. Jackson spent his entire career in North Colonie at Shaker High School (SHS). He served as a Science Teacher (1963-79), Science Department Supervisor (1979-91), and as the third Principal of Shaker High School (1991-2006). His career spanned 42.5 years (plus two years sabbatical for his PhD).
As Principal, he enhanced SHS’s reputation as the #1 school of the Capital District throughout the 1990s and 2000s. He created an all-Regents school, increased Regents diplomas from 66% to 96.6%. In 1998, he was named High School Principal of the Year by the Capital Area School Development Association.
During Dr. 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. SHS was one of only 25 schools nationally represented in this Promising to Proven initiative.
Dr. Jackson has been consistent, passionate, and committed throughout his career in advocating and providing educational opportunities of the highest caliber for ALL students. His vision for students – and The Shaker High School – never wavered and guided him as a teacher, supervisor, and principal.
In addition to his work at North Colonie CSD, Dr. Jackson is a lifetime member of the Albany Medical Center Board of Directors and a former member of the NYS Board of Regents. He has generously 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, programs of benefit for students, 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 where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow.
Melissa Jeffers is a second-term Councilwoman 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, Melissa gained invaluable experience about the inner workings of local government and worked collaboratively with her colleagues to move Colonie forward.
Melissa’s leadership skills were put to the test 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 has a distinguished public service career and currently works as the confidential secretary to a State Supreme Court Justice in Albany County.
Melissa has been a great influence on the younger generation – attracting them to public service. She remains committed to ensuring the Town of Colonie remains the best place to live, work, and raise a family.
Adam 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 Adam 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.
Adam 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.
Adam holds a bachelor’s degree from Elon College and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
He is generous, caring, and exemplifies the meaning of leadership on both a professional and personal level.
Jessica Kriss Saratovsky has served as Principal at PS 770 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for the past eight years. She was appointed as Principal at the age of 32.
She has worked tirelessly to increase the level of achievement of the students at PS 770 and is continuously praised for her leadership abilities. 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 NYC press and the reputation of the school is highly regarded by the Department of Education.
She has also increased the partnership with other schools and services in the Crown Heights community. The PS 770 PTA is extremely active under her leadership.
The past two years have been quite difficult, but she has met the challenges and guided PS 770 in a positive direction. She is devoted to her profession, to the students who attend PS 770, and their parents and caregivers. She treats the teachers and staff with respect, fairness, and dignity.
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.