2000-02-05 / Columnists

The Week at

The Rock
y Stuart L. Astor

Famous graduate returns:

Far Rockaway High School is remarkably well known outside of Far Rockaway. I was having dinner last weekend in Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University. I was seated next to a research scientist from Cornell, himself from Upstate New York. When I told him I taught at Far Rockaway High School, he said, "Isn’t that the school that graduated three Nobel prize winners?"

"Bingo!" I said.

A lot of celebrities have graduated from FRHS. One of them came back last week for a visit as part of an article about well-known graduates and their high schools that will appear in People magazine. She was Dr. Joyce Brothers, the famous psychologist. As Joyce Bauer, she graduated from FRHS in 1944. During her visit, she addressed the faculty cabinet, and met with Principal Thomas Cunningham, who presented her with a Far Rock wrestling team sweatshirt and her own portrait enlarged from the Class of ’44 yearbook. "The school has changed in many ways," said Dr. Brothers, "but in some ways not at all. The atmosphere is still friendly and dynamic."

Lifeguards in training at FRHS:

Starting this week, the New York City Parks Department will be offering free training courses at Far Rockaway High School’s pool for those interested in safeguarding swimmers this summer at the city’s beaches and outdoor pools. Training sessions will be held Mondays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Successful completion of the course plus passing of a final exam and clearance of a background check will make candidates eligible for summer jobs paying at least $9.82 per hour.

School reform grant applied for:

Far Rockaway High School has applied for a three-year grant from the Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Program. If the application is successful, FRHS will be given more than $250,000 to train teachers, administrators and parents in new methods of student-centered learning.


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