Richard P. "Rick" Mills, the state's education commissioner from 1995 to 2009, died in November 2017 at the age of 72.
Mills, a Clifton Park resident, died Wednesday from a heart attack while hiking the Adirondacks with a friend, his wife Judy told the Daily Gazette.
Mills was born in Paris, Ill. His father was a teacher and his grandmother and sister were also educators. Mills attended Middlebury College in Vermont, where he would later go on to become that state's education commissioner. In New York, Mills – a former history teacher as well – was known for pushing for increases in education funding.