Mr. Farishian Steps Down After 35-Year Verona Career


One thing that has been true for the past 35 years in the Verona Schools District, will no longer be true next school year.

VHS’s Athletic Director Gary Farishian will not be reporting for work.  Mr. Farishian, who has devoted 35 years to the district, will be retiring.  Mr. Farishian has been AD thirteen and a half years. Prior to that, he worked at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School as a sixth grade health and physical education teacher.

The various hats Mr. Farishian has worn in the district include golf coach, track coach, and freshman soccer coach.  He also was the high school’s first ice hockey coach, overseeing the beginning of the hockey program as a club sport that graduated up to varsity level status in the early 90’s.

He decided to pursue the AD job to take on a bigger leadership role.  He thinks that being able to accommodate change is important, but so is consistency. There are “only so many times can you change things up,” he says.

He says that as he has taken on multiple different roles, from teacher to coach to administrator, he has built great memories along the way.

As a teacher, he said the greatest accomplishment was any time he saw that “a-ha!” moment when a student reached full understanding.

He says his best memory as a coach was his hockey team becoming conference champs.

Lastly, as an AD, “I give credit to all the coaches, but winning 26 state champions and 56 conference champions has truly been a great accomplishment”.

Mr. Farishian says his greatest challenge in accomplishing that great record of success was finding the right people to lead his athletes to reach those goals. Along with trying to find someone expert at the sport, he looked for coaches who would give 100 percent effort to being there for their players and caring about kids.

“I will definitely miss my staff, assistants, and students,” he says. “Verona is a great town and I am so happy to be have been a part of it”.

Mr. Farishian’s plans for retirement include spending time at his beach house and doing some renovations on his house in Westfield.  He also wants to spend some time fishing, and focusing some more energy on the Ice Hockey he’s recently become the treasurer of.

So how would he like to be remembered?  “I’d like to remembered as…just someone who did the right thing for some great kids”