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Twins earn doctorate degrees, continue education tradition

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Posted: Monday, May 19, 2014 12:27 am

Alberta Thayer Arcangel believes education is of utmost importance in life.

The retired high school teacher and former Dean of Girls at Batavia High School can’t say her children didn’t learn from her.

Twins Maureen Thayer of Batavia and Michael D’Arcangelo of Rochester earned doctorate degrees this weekend.

“We realize the importance of education,” Arcangel said during a family gathering honoring the graduates Saturday night. “To have three doctorates in the family, that’s amazing. It’s mindboggling. It really is.”

Her nephew, Anthony Nowakowski earned a doctorate 22 years ago and is professor emeritus at the University at Buffalo. Her other son, William Thayer Jr. is a Roberts Wesleyan graduate and a teacher at Attica Central School.

Maureen Thayer graduated from University of Rochester Saturday with a doctorate of education in education leadership. She is director of Student Services at Hilton Central School in Monroe County.

Thayer said continuing education is a key to her job.

“It allows me to be a better leader,” she said. “It’s for personal and professional growth.”

Her brother works at Rochester Institute of Technology as director of Diversity Education in the Office of the President. He graduated Friday from UB with a doctor of philosophy degree in higher education.

“I wanted to add to my knowledge in the field,” he said. “And tell people I’m a doctor when I call.”

Both are graduates of Batavia High School. Thayer received two certificates of advances study in education administration and counseling from State College at Brockport, where she also received her master’s.

D’Arcangelo earned a bachelor’s of arts in psychology and political science in 1978 from Westminster Collage and a master’s of arts in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University in 1982. He obtained a master’s in Human Resource from RIT in 2003.

Their mother obviously is proud of their accomplishments.

“It’s not easy,” she said. “But they did it, all privately and by their own choice. It shows that if you want to do something, you can.”

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