Three VHS Teachers To Retire After 123 Years


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Lillian Gonzalez-Roig, Joseph Sabaday, Maria Lanahan

Three Verona High School teachers who have been working in their profession for an average of 41 years each will be retiring at the end of the school year: Spanish teacher Maria Lanahan, science teacher Joseph Sabaday and math teacher Lillian Gonzalez-Roig. The three will be honored at a dinner on Thursday, June 17 at the Russian Hall in Singac at which all current and former students are welcome.

In addition to their academic contributions, the retiring teachers participated actively in the school community.  Gonzalez-Roig spent 25 years as a class adviser, attending “way too many proms, ring breakfasts, senior banquets and fundraisers to remember,” for example, and Lanahan chaperoned student trips to Spain.

The teachers are looking forward to enjoying typical retirement pleasures, such as golf and grandchildren, as well as some long-denied indulgences such as “sleeping until 6:30 and traveling at non-peak times,” in the words of  Gonzalez-Roig.

But they will miss Verona, especially its  “family atmosphere,” says Sabaday.  Adds Gonzalez-Roig: “Because Verona is a relatively small town, there is a closeness and community spirit that I don’t know would be easy to find in many other places.  I consider myself very fortunate to have had my career here in Verona.” Lanahan notes: “Verona has been an ideal community in which to have spent my 41 years. The caliber of student, the familial nature of our faculty and the support of the community have truly made it difficult to leave.”

To reserve a spot at the retirement dinner, which will begin at 6 p.m., mail or deliver a check or money order for $65 made out to cash or Cynthia Lanno (the VHS math teacher who is helping to organize the event) to the high school by May 15. Questions can be directed to RoseAnn Prendergast at the high school at 973-239-3300. The address at VHS, in case you’ve long forgotten it by now, is 151 Fairview Avenue, Verona, NJ 07044.

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Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan moved to Verona in 1989. A long-time journalist, she has been on the staff of Money, Sports Illustrated, Bride’s and Redbook magazines. Her articles on health and parenting appear in a variety of national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Self and Family Circle. She and her husband Greg have three school-aged children, and are members of Our Lady of the Lake Church. You can reach Julia at [email protected].


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