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Dr. William Farley Named West Orange High School Teacher of the Year for 2022-23

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Beloved West Orange High School Music Director Dr. William Farley has been named West Orange High School Teacher of the Year for 2022-23. The surprise announcement came on Dec. 9, as Farley was conducting class.

Dr. Farley has taught at West Orange High School for 22 years, where he has served as the Music Director for the Honors Chamber and Tenor/Bass choirs, Piano Lab Instructor, and General Music classes. Extracurricular activities include advisor and director of the Jubilee Choir (an auditioned group), and coach/advisor of the award-winning Boys Step Team.  In 2021, he received his Doctorate Degree in Worship Studies from Liberty University, along with a Bachelor’s from Westminster Choir College and a Master’s at Montclair State University, both in Music Education.

In addition to the many students that have gone on to music education, several of Dr. Farley’s students have gone on to successful careers in music and theater, including: 

  • Okieriete Onaodowan, who originated the roles of Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in “Hamilton,” starred in “Grey’s Anatomy,” and currently in “Station 19.”
  • Warner Miller, a stage and screen actor who got his break in “American Gangsta,” “Luke Cage,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and currently on “Manifest.”
  • James Gibbs, a renowned trumpeter, music producer, bandleader, and educator.
  • Gabriella Rodriguez, WOHS singer and theater star who toured in the “Color Purple” nationally in 2019-20.
  • Melody Ector, now a session keyboardist in the Los Angeles area. 

Dr. Farley was surprised and touched as WOHS Principal Oscar Guerrero, Asst. Superintendent Hayden Moore, Fine Arts Supervisor Lou Quagliato, Director of Student Counseling/Services Cheryl Butler, assistant principals and deans, and students cheered him on. 

Dr. Farley will be retiring in June, 2023 after a storied and award-winning career.  

Watch the video below to join in the surprise.

Dr. Farley

WOHS Principal Oscar Guerrero, Dr. William Farley, Asst. Superintendent Hayden Moore.

Dr. Farley

Music instructor Michelle Brown, Supervisor of Fine Arts Lou Quagliato, Dr. William Farley, Band instructor Erin Legatic, Band instructor Josh Zimmer.

Cynthia Cumming
Dec. 9, 2022