A 114-year-old educational legacy ends
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Nislick, a Bayside resident, came up with the idea to honor the last graduating class because he felt it would be something his fellow alumni would like to share in. “It’s a sad occasion, the closing of a great institution,” he said. “I didn’t want to let it go by without recognition.”
When Nislick learned what Weinstock had collected for the scholarship fund, he contacted the high school to see if they would like to honor more than one graduate. Nislick said he spoke with Far Rockaway High School Vice Principal Tuwanna Williams-Gray who said the school would honor more than one student.
Rhonda Glickman, vice president of Sales for Richner Communications, is a Class of 1970 graduate, who had some of her happiest memories in Far Rockaway. The neighborhood she grew up in was diverse and that during her senior year of high school, her male classmates were consumed with worry about being drafted, Glickman said. “You wouldn’t be drafted if you were married or a teacher, so many of the teachers were 23-years-old and male, at the time, to avoid the draft,” she said.
Artist and painter Alli Burman, a Woodmere resident and Class of 1972, said her teachers at Far Rockaway High School paved the way for her future as she first explored the idea of going into oceanography. “My science teacher advised me that science wasn’t the best idea for me,” she said. “That school shaped my life and I feel that I got an incredibly thorough education and wonderful view of my life choices.”
She is shocked and dismayed about the closing of her alma mater and said that the Class of 2011 has a “tremendous burden on their shoulders.”
“Even though they may not feel or understand the legacy they’re leaving, they actually have a debt to pay and that is to ensure that something like this never happens again and that they make the most out of their lives,” Burman said. “I hope they realize that those before them had their lives, careers, hopes and dreams based on Far Rockaway High School and they have a tremendous burden on their shoulders to prove that the closing of the high school doesn’t mean the legacy of Far Rockaway is over.”