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Helen Koskinas Fountaine was born in Glens Falls on June 13, 1947. She moved to East River Road, Fort Edward, in 1959 and began seventh grade at Main Street School in Hudson Falls that September. While a student in the district, she participated in many activities including French and Spanish Clubs, Future Teachers of America, and yearbook. Following graduation in June 1965, she attended Russell Sage College graduating with a BA in Spanish in 1969.
Married soon after college, Helen began her teaching career in Moravia, New York, while pursuing graduate studies at SUNY Cortland.
In 1975, the Fountaines returned to the area. Helen taught for 27 years in Glens Falls, chairing the Foreign Language Department for sixteen of those years. In addition to teaching duties, she undertook advising the Junior Class, Hi-Y, and Student Government, as well as leading many student trips to Spain. Serving as advisor to the Drama Club for several years, she directed a variety of plays and musicals. In 1985, along with Hudson Falls’ teacher, Betty Barrett, she was selected to lead seminars and train area educators in The Effective Teaching Model, a role that lasted until 2005. After retirement in 2002, she also continued part-time work in the Glens Falls School District as a consultant presenting workshops and coaching young educators as they began their teaching careers. In addition, she heartily enjoyed the role of Spanish instructor at ACC for two semesters and relished teaching “mature” language learners at A.L.L. in Saratoga. Currently, she is “teaching” as she leads groups around the Hyde Collection in her volunteer capacity as docent. Helen believes her passion for art history began at The Hyde in 1963 when Hudson Falls’ teacher, Mrs. Weatherbee, brought the French IV class there on a field trip.
Mrs. Fountaine was recipient of the Glens Falls School District Teacher of the Year Award in 1996; was selected five times by students for the Scholars’ Recognition Award, and received a special achievement award from that organization in 2003. The Riverside School Bell Award for Retired Educators was presented to Helen in 2004. In that same year, she was named Docent of the Year at The Hyde.