Tag Archives: Thomas Edison High School

Two dead in fiery crash in front of Queens high school

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Updated Tuesday, April 7, 10:27 a.m.

Two people were killed early Sunday morning after their car crashed into scaffolding in front of Jamaica’s Thomas A. Edison High School and burst into flames, police said.

A Nissan Maxima was traveling eastbound on the Grand Central Parkway service road about 4:25 a.m. when it lost control coming off the roadway, authorities said. The vehicle then struck scaffolding located outside of the school at 65-65 84th Ave. and the car caught on fire.

According to witnesses, the vehicle was speeding when it crashed, police said.

Once responding FDNY personnel were able to extinguish the flames, officers found two people inside the vehicle. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Police did not immediately release their identities.


Whitestone auto center grooms new generation of tech-savvy workers

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Don’t call these car-loving high school kids grease monkeys.

On Tuesday, students from Thomas Edison High School broke out their laptops to fix a Lexus SUV in a timed competition that pitted them against 12 other high schools in the greater New York area, testing their skills with computers as much as with wrenches.

The event was hosted by the Center for Automotive Education and Training in Whitestone and winners are awarded scholarships for continued education in the auto world. But the center’s bigger goal with such events is to remedy an industry that is facing an aging workforce that isn’t being replenished by a new generation of skilled workers.

“There are more laptops here than there are cars,” said Nick Crispe, a spokesman for the center. “There’s still an engine in there but it’s not the greasy, dirty environment that it used to be.”

Pairs of high school kids rushed from laptops to the cars they were tasked with fixing. The two Thomas Edison High School students Jose Sanchez and Christopher Sookraj hopped between a diagnostics list to their laptop, which was connected to the Lexus that they needed to fix as part of the competition. The event was meant to mimic a modern car dealer shop.

As the technology under a car’s hood continues to look more like a computer’s hardware, the industry’s demand for tech-savvy workers has increased. The old image of a grease-caked mechanic is no longer accurate as cars become more computerized with electric cars and advanced clean-diesel engines.

“I was iffy about this at first,” Sanchez said. “But then I got really into it and now I want to get into this career.”

Even the word mechanic has fallen out of use in the industry for the preferred term, technician. Automotive schools characterize this time period as confusion and the average age of technicians – formerly known as mechanics – is nearing the late 40s in Ford, General Motors and Chrysler Group, according to USA Today.

But Crispe and others believe that as the image of cars in popular culture begins to align itself more closely with technology to become the Smart Car, a new wave of students can be attracted into the industry.

“There was a stigma that stopped the younger generation from joining this area,” Crispe said. “If you love cars and technology this is the perfect career now.”

Thomas Edison’s team didn’t win the competition, but they left the event with new-found inspiration about a career that will be a big part of the future. The winning teamed hailed from Orange-Ulster BOCES in upstate Goshen.


Campus Magnet routs Edison for coach Charles Granby final home game

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

With just under a minute remaining at the Campus Magnet boys basketball home game against Thomas Edison on Thursday, fans starting signing “na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye.”

It could have been a song of pride as the Bulldogs were on route to rout the Edison Inventors to the tune of 87-48. But it was probably a farewell chant for Bulldogs’ head coach Charles Granby.

After 45 seasons platooning the sidelines for Campus Magnet, Granby is finally leaving the Bulldogs bench. And although the Bulldogs (4-10) didn’t show much bite this year, they barked loudly on Granby’s final home game. Campus Magnet’s top scorer, Nohah Vickers, dropped 54 points and dished 7 assists in the win.

“We just played together today and we were just motivated to give him a big win,” Vickers said. “We just wanted the last home game to be a good one, and a memorable one.”

Granby, 79, started teaching physical education at Campus Magnet in 1969 when it was called Andrew Jackson High School. He remained a teacher until 1996, but continued to coach because of his passion for basketball.

He is the winningest coach in PSAL history with 722 victories. He has taught basketball to thousands of teens over the years, and his teams have won 24 division titles, seven Queens championships and the coveted city title in 1985.

Granby himself played basketball at Bradley University, and was on the team when they won the National Invitational Tournament in 1960.

For his accomplishments, he was inducted in the New York State and New York City basketball hall of fames.

But this year Granby knew it was time.

“I just felt tired,” he said. “I’ve been here 45 years. It’s time to go.”

Despite all the trophies, honors and banners, many of which hang in the rafters of the Bulldogs home gym, what many appreciate is Granby’s mentor style that stretches beyond basketball.

His famed “ugly life” speech—without education everything in your life will be “ugly”— is given to players the day they walk in the gym. And even at his final home game, after fans dispersed and the lights in the gym turned off, Granby gave another lecture to his players.

He preached about the importance of going to college and not relying on basketball. He also told the boys to take care of their children when they become fathers.

Many past players hearing these speeches have experienced success, including Orlando Magic forward Kyle O’Quinn and newly elected Brooklyn City Councilmember Robert Cornegy Jr.

“Dad is a father to everybody,” Granby’s daughter Robyn Granby-Poole said. “He’s not worried about the wins. He’s not thinking about that. He’s thinking about OK now your future is going to rely on (education) make sure you have this because basketball may come to an end.”

Now that basketball is coming to an end for him, Granby plans to relax and travel with his free time.

Granby’s successor hasn’t been named, but he’ll leave a lasting legacy for his replacement to look up to.

“It’s one of those things of who replaces the legendary coach?” said Gareth Robinson, the principal for the PSAL in the school. “For anything they do people who have been around in the community will wonder ‘oh well Granby wouldn’t have done it that way.’”

There will be a retirement party for Granby on April 26 at Jericho Terrace.