Ahhh, the wonderful Monsignor Farrell High School. Easily one of the most overrated institutions on Staten Island, but a very much underrated prison. I spent three years at Monsignor Farrell, three years of my life that I wish I could have back. There’s a lot of things in my life that I believe might have scarred me or caused my rather interesting personality, but top of that list would have to be my time spent in Farrell. In fairness it was probably a stupid decision on my part, I liked Moore Catholic High School better, but they didn’t have a football team. Also all the asshole guys from my middle school went to Farrell.
So where do the problems begin and end with Monsignor Farrell High School? The Vice Principal or Assistant Principal Lawrence Musanti. You see, Mr Musanti is a retired NYC Police Officer. Retired police officers are allowed to hold jobs and still receive their pensions. So Lawrence Musanti went around hiring all his retired cop buddies to be deans and even teachers, but mostly deans. So that means that every student at Monsignor Farrell got the joy of being treated like a criminal. Every time you went to the Deans office it became an interrogation with a good cop / bad cop mentality between the Deans. The former cops who taught were just as fun, as they made it their #1 point not to educate, but to try to catch people who cheated.
Even more fun is that while I was there, Lawrence Musanti picked up checks not just for being assistant principal, but he also made himself (since he was in charge of hiring) the Varsity Coach of not only the Baseball and Basketball teams, but even the Ice Hockey team. He was picking up checks for coaching all three teams while he was also the Assistant Principal. No one even questioned it back then, but at least now according to the Monsignor Farrell website he is no longer coaching those three teams.
I can not in words explain the fun of interrogation by the Deans. One time they claimed that I was vandalizing school property, and scribbled with one of my pens next to the vandalized area. The ink matched, but thankfully I was able to point out that the only pens I had on me were pens sold in the school store so it wasn’t exactly damning evidence. Time and again the Deans would question you and ask your side of the story, and then tell you how your view/explanation was wrong. It never mattered what you said, the Deans always had it right and you were wrong.
At the same time the Deans and Lawrence Musanti turned a blind eye to all the trouble the athletes were causing. Most of them never got in trouble for what they did, let alone be told that their stories were wrong. Unless of course the team happened to suck. In my Junior year the Basketball team was godawful, and one day we came in to find out that 6 members of the team had been expelled for some minor prank. It was never a question of what the prank was, but more an unspoken word that if the team sucked, you could expect to get your special privileges revoked.
I’ll never forget my final day at the school. One of the Deans looked at me and said “Mr D, it looks like your on your way of being the first senior kicked out”. All I could think of was how I just didn’t want to be there anymore. It wasn’t a threat to kick me out, it was the best thing they could do for me was to get me out of that prison. When I got home that day I told my parents that was it, I wasn’t going back there. They weren’t going to hang over my head the next 3 quarters of the school year that they were going to kick me out. When my parents showed up and told them this they begged for me to stay (my parents had paid my tuition, which couldn’t be refunded but could be transferred to my brother) and to show up to give the school one more chance. Mr Musanti, the Deans and even the Principal who rarely did anything were there that day with my parents.
In the end I transferred to Moore Catholic, and had a kick ass senior year except for a few oddities. I really can’t recommend enough Moore Catholic as shoulder and heads above Monsignor Farrell. If you find yourself in a choice between the two, definitely pick Moore Catholic. You don’t get treated like criminals, the teachers actually care, and it’s just a lot more of a fun environment.