Community Involvement: For years, activist and school educator Thomas Greene has been involved in a project to try to get a modest environmental science laboratory on Denyse Wharf for use by public school students. He also presently coaches the Bay Ridge Aquatic Institute, Inc. (BRAINS) team which he created back in 1993 for children ages seven to high school age. He is a past president of the Bay Ridge Community Council.
Career: Greene retired in 2005 as an assistant principal from Fort Hamilton High School, after teaching ocean science for 35 years, and currently is an adjunct instructor at Kingsborough Community College.
Biggest accomplishment: Im very proud to have participated in getting a swimming pool for the Bay Ridge community. The opening of the Thomas F. Greene Natatorium at Fort Hamilton High School gave alumni the opportunity to swim in the pool twice a week. Lutheran Medical Center comes in to utilize the pool for wellness programs, as well.
Im always near the water, for some reason, Greene joked.
Personal: Greene was born in Bay Ridge. At the age of four, he moved to Marine Park. He went to James Madison High School and was graduated from there in 1964. He received his bachelors degree in biology from NYU and a masters degree in chemistry, also from NYU.
Ive been through it all — public, private and parochial education, Greene affirmed.
Nonetheless, this quintessential teacher was not sure if he wanted teaching as a career. He applied to teach in an army base and was accepted shortly after. For the next two years, he taught Army Brats, ages six to 12, in France. Those were the best two years of my life, he reminisced, adding that he enjoyed teaching after all, loved traveling and took French courses in the meantime. When he came back, there was a spot open at Fort Hamilton High School, and he was hired. He moved back to Bay Ridge and has stayed here ever since.
Goal: Greene says he wants to convince the Department of Education to use Denyse Wharf as the site for a marine science lab where public school students would learn biology. Theres a lot of science in the shore line, he stressed.