168th Commencement: Watch Live
It was a landmark moment for Schenectady, N.Y., and the Hon. Teneka E. Frost ’02, who became the city’s first black City Court judge when she was sworn in on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.
Speaking in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, Judge Frost stressed the importance of diversity in government and its public officials, giving back to the community, and educating local children on the court system and services available to them, according to the Daily Gazette.
“I broke the cycle of poverty in my family,” she said. “Not only has my personal background prepared me for being City Court judge but my legal experience has prepared me to take on the challenges of being a judge.”
Judge Frost was appointed by Mayor Gary McCarthy to replace newly elected Schenectady County Family Court Judge Mark Blanchfield. She previously served as chief administrative law judge for the New York Department of State and was director of the Office of Administrative Hearings.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University, Albany Law School, Class of 2002, and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany.
At Albany Law School, Judge Frost was Northeast regional director of the National Black Law Students Association, regional representative of the Albany Law School Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and a member of the law school’s Moot Court Board. As a student she interned for the Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caucus of the New York State Legislature and worked as a law clerk at Lemery Greisler LLC.
During her professional career, Judge Frost also worked as associate counsel and affirmative action officer at two state agencies, staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, and associate attorney at Lemery Greisler. In 2005, she was selected for a post-graduate fellowship in government law and policy at Albany Law School’s Government Law Center, during which time she also served as an elected member of the Board of Education for the City School District of Albany.