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A. Morton “Mort” Raych

Man wearing glasses, suit and tie

A. Morton “Mort” Raych

One of the most influential teachers in the history of the South Glens Falls School District, A. Morton “Mort” Raych served as chairman of the Art Department from 1948 to 1980. A brilliant artist known for his unique, flowing designs, Mort was also the “Voice of the Bulldogs” for home football games and wrestling matches.

To this day, if you ask a student who was in school during Mort’s 32-year teaching career, they will tell you that his trademark “Here Come the Bulldogs” is one of their lifetime memories of their time as a South High student.

He coordinated annual art shows held at the Glens Falls Armory for area high school students, was a longtime member of the district committees on curriculum and policy, and advised and coordinated the annual South High yearbook for decades.

One of the founders and for many years the treasurer of the South Glens Falls Central School District’s Federal Credit Union, Mort served for many years as treasurer of the organization.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Mort graduated from Albright Art School in 1939 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in art education from the State University College there in 1940. He served his country honorably in World War II, receiving specialized training in Far Eastern subjects and serving in England, France and Germany.

A prominent community figure, Mort was a longtime committee chairman for the New York State High School Basketball Championships, designing logos and banners and serving as chairman of the scorer’s table, supervising volunteers. He also edited and laid out the tournament program, and was the official scorekeeper for South High varsity basketball for more than 30 years.

An avid bowler and golfer, Mort was instrumental in organizing the Tri-County Teachers’ league, serving as its first president and later, as league secretary for many years. He also organized and was the official stat-keeper and artist for the Tri-County Teachers’ Golf League, which is still active, was handicap and tournament chairman for Queensbury Country Club and later Kingswood, and for many years was secretary of the Eastern New York Golf Association. Kingswood’s pro shop still features signs that Mort made for them years ago.

Mort represented South High on numerous state and national arts councils, panels, committees and forums, and was a member of the board of directors and director of the Hyde Collection from 1970-78. He also served as president of the New York Art Teachers’ Association.

He developed logos for the Glens Falls Civic Center, painted the Red Wing on the wall in the foyer. His work is still very evident across the region.

He was inducted into the Heritage Hall Athletic Hall of Fame, and received countless awards from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and other statewide athletic organizations.

The 1980 South High yearbook was dedicated to Mr. Raych. In it, then-Superintendent of Schools William Wetherbee said, “Perhaps no one can fully appreciate and express gratitude for the dimensions of Mort Raych’s countless and varied contributions to our school and community … We salute the quality and character of his service and achievements.”

Mort passed away in 2001 at the age of 82.