Robert P. Farwell Jr. will be retiring this summer as principal of one of the largest high schools in the area, Orchard Park Central.
Some notes from the world of Bob Farwell, who has spent the last 28 years at Orchard Park High:
-- The book he will leave in the high school library is "Boom! Voices of the Sixties" by Tom Brokaw.
"That's what I'd like to tell my students: make a difference. It's like I tell employees, if you're not making mistakes, you're not doing the job."
-- On the buses that start unloading students about 7 a.m.: "The big yellow limousines come and drop off satisfied customers on a daily basis."
-- How students have changed:
"I see a greater disregard for truth when you're in trouble."
The cliques in 1980 were much stronger, he says. "You went into the cafeteria in 1980, you could see the groups. There were the preppy kids, here were the jocks, here were the motor heads. Now when you walk in the cafeteria, there are still groups, but you can't tell who comes from a very wealthy family and who doesn't."
Dress is much more casual, which has caused some problems. But the man who doesn't like rules doesn't put much stock in the "no skirts shorter than the end of your fingertips" rule of thumb. "Three young ladies wearing the same outfit, purchased at the same place, and somebody has shorter arms or longer legs or whatever, and one student has to go home and the other one doesn't?"
-- On dealing with drugs and alcohol: It comes with the job, he says, and is something he won't miss.
"I've attended too many wakes and funerals of kids. We're going to do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen."
-- Barbara O'Brien