Laning Avenue Principal Frank Albano Retiring in June
After 14 years at the school, he says he will miss the students terribly in retirement.
After serving as principal for 14 years at Laning Avenue School, Principal Frank Albano will be retiring from the Verona school system in June.
“I lived in Verona all my life,” he said. “I was born and raised and I'm a product of the Verona School system.”
Albano currently lives in Randolph with his wife Marisa, a sixth-grade teacher at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, and their son Rocco, a first grader in Randolph.
Albano, a Glassboro State University (now Rowan University) graduate and All-American shortstop, started teaching as a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Forest Avenue Elementary School and H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, respectively.
After teaching sixth grade for 11 years, Albano started as assistant principal at H.B. Whitehorne before becoming principal of Carteret School in Bloomfield.
Afterwards, he came back to Verona as principal of both Brookdale Avenue and Laning Avenue schools.
“That was crazy,” said Albano. “I would spend two and a half days at each school, but it was my ticket back to Verona.”
In college, Albano played baseball for Glassboro State, and as captain, led his team to win the NCAA Divisional Championships in 1978 and 1979.
“A lot of what we do at Laning is based on the team concept,” he said. “I learned everything I needed about the team concept from working with those teams.”
“A lot of what I learned in Glassboro on those teams I use every day at my job,” he added.
The team, he says, is made up of three components.
“First and foremost, are the children,” he said. “I've never come across a child I didn't like. Verona kids are the best, they never disappoint you or let you down.”
“If I have a hard meeting with a parent I go down to see the kindergartners,” he added. “They tell me I have a big nose, they pull my tie,” all things he finds refreshing.
The second component of the team is made up of the teachers. Verona has the best staff in the world he said, and they all care so much about the kids. It's not just the teachers, it's the staff, the secretaries and the custodians as well, he said.
The third component is the parents.
“The parents are wonderful,” said Albano. “They support the teachers, they get involved in school activities and put the emphasis on education.”
“When home and school work in concert, it's nothing but positive for the kids,” he added.
One of Albano's highlights from his career was when Laning Avenue School was named a Star School by the state Department of Education in 2005. Only five other schools were given the prestigious award that year, he said.
When asked what he plans to do with his retirement, Albano said he looks forward to doing something different.
“I know I'm going to do something, I just don't know what it is,” he said. “Getting up and going to the gym will get old real fast. I'm looking forward to spending time with my family.”
“I'm going to miss the children. I'm going to miss them terribly,” said Albano. “There's not a child in the school that's difficult to like. They are all wonderful and the staff as well.”