In Memory



KOURY--Frederick, J. Co-founder of City-As-School High School, passed away on July 7, 2010 at age 87. He was principal of CAS for 17 years and respected as a leader in experiential learning. He taught English at Wingate and at Dewey High School in New York. Fred was a founding member of the United Federation of Teachers and served on the Executive Board. During WWII, he was a lead navigator with the 100th Bomb Group. He will be missed by the many students, colleagues, friends, and family whose lives he touched and influenced. A tribute will be held at 5:30pm on Friday, September 24 at City-As-School, 16 Clarkson St., New York City. Donations may be made to the Fred Koury Memorial Scholarship Fund at City-As-School, 16 Clarkson St., New York, NY 10014.  

Thanks to Larry Sisselman for the above right-hand photo that was taken in the bus at the 1969 senior picnic at Flushing Meadows park.

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09/27/10 08:07 PM #1    

Donny Goodman (1970)

When i first went to wingate as a freshman in 1966, i found out  that the school had a literary magazine called "Spectrum".  For many reasons, even at 13 years old, i wanted to write poetry, and applied ,somehow, to be "Poetry Editor" for  Spectrum.  Fred Koury was the faculty advisor for the magazine, and explained to me why i could not be the Poetry Editor as a freshman, and encouraged me to be a staff member,,,,and a contributor.  He was the first one to show me that being a writer required actually having to sit down and write something.  The 1966-70 edition of Spectum has the first thing that I wrote that was ever published.  From there, so many amazing things happened....but it all started with Fred Koury.......I went to visit him when he moved on to South Shore High School.  He sort of remembered me then...but I still remember him even now.

09/27/10 08:10 PM #2    

Jeannette Grasso (1970)

Although I never had the pleasure of having Mr. Khoury as a teacher, I remember his presence at our belove Wingate High.  Sometimes a person doesn't have to be well known in order to be appreciated.  His smile will always be remembered as a bright spot in the hallways and classrooms in the "guitar".RIP Mr. Khoury - you will be missed by many.

09/27/10 08:28 PM #3    

Susan Lefkowitz (Lass) (1969)

Fred Koury was one of those few teachers who leave a life long impression in your mind and heart.  He made Shakepeare come alive.  He was an extraordinary human being who had the gift of connecting to his students and appreciating each one for their special talents.  He was a ground breaker as well.  He took our class to see Dyoneses (pardon the spelling) which was quite a risque play at the time.  It is amazing to me to this day that our parents gave him permission to do so, but I guess this is just another  example of the trust and respect he received from all who knew him.  I have always considered myself blessed to have had him as a teacher and was thrilled to see that he eventually became the principal of CAS.  Fred Koury, rest in peace. You were a truly remarkable human being and I will never forget you! 

09/27/10 10:34 PM #4    

Larry Ulstein (Forman) (1969)

Fred Koury was a true Gentlemen in every  sense of the word.  A devoted teacher and friend, who was color blind to religion and politics.  Amen.

09/28/10 10:16 AM #5    

Bonnie Spieler (Peterson) (1969)

After doing some research online - I found this and wanted to share some of Mr. Koury's more recent students' thoughts about him...


Fred Koury founded the high school from which I graduated.  His work in Education touched thousands of lives.  Thank you, Fred.  You are gone, but your legacy will reverberate in the universe for many, many generations to come.
Tonight's tribute to the life of Fred Koury felt, for me, like attending a family reunion where I met cousins, aunts, and uncles for the very first time and yet recognize so much of myself in the relatives I'd never before known. I learned a great deal about who Fred was and what motivated him. I re-realized tonight that great schools never happen by accident; there is always a source of the greatness. That greatness embodies itself in a life-force that pervades the entire school community--eventually becoming the defining characteristic of the school itself.

Fred's greatness resided in his unyielding belief in the students under his charge. Fred knew that, as one speaker put it this evening--if a school truly believes in its students, then the students learn to believe in themselves. What I learned tonight was that Fred also believed in his teachers; he believed in their professionalism and their competence and their capacity to care.  And those teachers appreciated Fred's confidence in them.  
All that good faith in people is contagious, and as a student, it contaminated you when you enrolled in City-As-School. I felt it as did so many others before, during, and after my time at CAS. The whole school community was compelled to care because the school was, in essence, founded on the principle of care. And Fred was the Principal care-giver.

I'm touched and honored to be a part of the CAS story.  I learned a lot tonight about the man, Frederick J. Koury--and proudly, I also learned some things about myself.  I, along with the other members of the City-As-School family, are inheritors of Fred's great legacy.  Fred, I'll do my best to carry it well.  God bless.



09/28/10 02:37 PM #6    

Donna Bayar (Repsher) (1969)

Fred Koury was an amazing teacher and an amazing man. He wasn't afraid to take risks, either in reading he assigned, or events like taking us to see Dionysus in '69, very controversial at the time, since the entire play was done in the nude, and the audience was encouraged to join the acting troupe at times. He was also an incredible mentor--certainly to me in the area of my poetry writing. He was both kindly critical and praising at once, and it was a pleasure to be Spectrum's poetry editor during my senior year, with him at the helm.

I last spoke with him 10 years ago, when I called him to invite him to attend our 30th class reunion. I sincerely wish he had. We had a lovely conversation, even though he was unable to attend. He will be much missed and always remembered with great fondness. 

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