A farewell to retiring staff members: Dr. Thomas Ganes

Photo reproduced by permission of Great Neck South High School
Photo reproduced by permission of Great Neck South High School

by Robin Shum
Wearing a bright orange shirt, he pushes a handcart stacked with three cardboard boxes, enclosing the sacred AP tests. Almost immediately, the crowd of students parts to make way for him. It’s Dr. Thomas Ganes, head of South’s guidance department, and this is the last time he will ever administer the English Language and Composition AP test. After 29 years of working at South, Dr. Ganes is retiring.
The one thing Dr. Ganes will miss the most about South is its students. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to create lasting connections with them.
“A graduate from the class of 1991 recently operated on me, replacing both of my knees,” Dr. Ganes said.
When Dr. Ganes first started working at South, he was impressed by both its focus on students and the quality of the teaching staff. After becoming advisor for Asian Night, he realized there was so much to learn from the students.
”The most important thing I learned was how to be flexible and work with changes,” he said. “Also, you really get a chance to learn about other cultures and about the things that are important to them.”
After he retires, Dr. Ganes plans on returning to his winter home in Vermont, where he had built a “two-story, 12-sided house” with his family 25 years ago. “Now, my wife and I can go skiing mid-week and avoid long lines.”