The Herkimer Central School District Spotlight showcases student, graduate and staff member successes.
Chris Sagaas graduated from Herkimer High School in 1991.
What’s your favorite high school memory?
There are a lot of favorites, but two of the best are: 1) Going to Paris in my junior year (I didn’t know it at the time, but my future wife, Ann Gallagher, was a classmate and on that trip too) and 2) Being a member of the Section III Track Championship team my senior year and then doing a victory lap with the whole team around the track at Waterville.
What have you been doing since you graduated?
I graduated from Cornell University in 1995, got my Masters in Library Science at U. Albany 5 years later, and in between have taught environmental science, worked at Heidelberg Bakery, delivered appliances for Sears and worked in several different libraries in New York and Virginia.
I just became director of Utica Public Library in June after 17 years at Albany Public Library and I am so happy to be back in the Valley and to be a part of the exciting things going on in Utica.
Did anyone from Herkimer Central School District influence you in becoming who you are today?
The overall support of a lot of teachers was a big influence, from kindergarten through 12th grade. I will certainly leave some out of a long list, but Mrs. Mroz, Mrs. Gloo, Mrs. McLeod, Miss Miller, Mrs. Guiffre, Mr. & Mrs. Quinn, Mrs. Talarico, Mrs. Trefzger, Mr. Kaplan, Mr. Stumaker, and Mr. Snyder all exhibited care for their students and passion for their subjects. On the athletic side, Coach McMahon toughened me up, and Coach Annutto taught me how important it was to make time for everyone on the team.
What advice do you have for current Herkimer High School students?
Work hard at finding something you enjoy doing — no matter what it pays — and then continue to challenge yourself when you find it. If you aren’t happy with where you are, you probably aren’t happy with who you are, so be kind to yourself, listen to others, rely on your friends and/or family, and explore your interests. I have found the grass is green everywhere, but it’s only Kelly Green in Herkimer.