Staff members reveal retirement plans; offer fond farewells

by Julia Cirincione
and Tyler Dencker
This year, four high school staff members are retiring: Judith Sharkey, Roy Sarcona, Douglas Hooper and Charles Freyberger.
Judith Sharkey taught calculus and math analysis to juniors and seniors at the high school for 24 years. Earlier in her 36-year career she taught in the Rahway public school district. Sharkey has also been the assistant coach for the boys and girls varsity swim team for 16 years.
While Sharkey admits she will miss her colleagues and students, she is excited to devote time to traveling after her retirement.
“I want to go to all 50 states and seven continents,” said Sharkey.
“Ms. Sharkey is a fantastic teacher who is always available before school for extra help,” said junior Pierce Johnston.  “I am going to miss occasionally talking to her about sports during class.”
Roy Sarcona has been a physics teacher for 12 years.  After a 30-year career as an engineering manager, Sarcona went back to school to earn an additional degree in teaching.
“Unlike most teachers, I know and understand what goes on in the real world,” said Sarcona. “I know what it takes to succeed in college and life. I try to use those experiences help me teach the students so they can be successful in their own lives.”
“I’m really going to miss  Mr. Sarcona’s good sense of humor,” said junior Elizabeth Hom. “Not only was he funny, but he was a great physics teacher too.”
“I’m going to miss the interactions I had with my students,” said Sarcona. “Teaching  was a way of re-living my youth.”
Douglas Hooper has been a teacher for 46 years, all but one spent in room 211. He has taught a variety of courses, including acting, public speaking, broadcast journalism, TV Arts, TV production, and world literature.
“I will definitely miss the students the most,” said Hooper. “One of the little known things about me is that I have more unused sick days than any other staff member. I just always wanted to be here.”
Hooper plans to work with his girlfriend, the director of the New Jersey Bat Sanctuary, in her efforts to save the dwindling populations of New Jersey’s nine bat species.
“Mr. Hooper has helped many students succeed in high school and beyond,” said senior Jenny Lynch. “He will be a presence  that everyone will miss after he retires.”
Charles Freyberger has been a district social worker for 24 years. Freyberger’s earlier career included teaching at the Renaissance School for Recovering Teens for three years, and in various alternative schools for 12 years.
“Mr. Freyberger is one of the coolest people in this school and one of the coolest people to talk to,” said senior Elijah Fields. “I’d like to thank him for always being there for me whenever I had a problem at school. I’m going to miss him cracking jokes and telling funny stories.”
“I will miss a lot of the people I have met: the students, colleagues  and staff members,” said Freyberger, who claims he is looking forward to doing nothing but playing tennis once he retires.


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