2007 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
President, Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Nassau County
Institutional memory in most organizations harkens to one strong leader; one person with the vision, passion and commitment to raise the bar on performance and make things better overall for employees, customers, and members of the community. At Nassau BOCES, that leader is George Farber.
President of the Board for 20 years – with overall service of 36 years – Farber is the longest sitting board member in the county, and, perhaps, the state. That depth of experience has helped to guide the agency through many challenges – legal, financial, instructional – all successfully managed with Farber’s sincere, ethical, fair and balanced decision-making skills.
According to his fellow board members, Farber’s leadership style is one of “understated strength, exhaustive research and constant vigilance.” As a trustee, he exemplifies the ideal of both a leader and a partner in education, which has helped to make Nassau BOCES an organization admired internally by its employees, and externally by the component districts it serves.
Under his tutelage, Nassau BOCES has grown to 4,200 employees and more than 130 programs. His legacy includes creation of the Nassau BOCES Cultural Arts Center, the island's only school for the visual and performing arts, as well as the Career Preparatory High School and the Joseph M. Barry Career and Technical Center. In fact, it’s safe to say that 250,000 students in Nassau County can count the number of ways Farber has impacted their lives.
Farber’s love for public education stems from his own experiences as a student in New York City public schools and later as an undergraduate at the City College of New York. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, he launched a successful career in the restaurant supply business and moved to the Herricks school district. In 1961, he was asked to join the Herricks school board; two years later he was elected its president, a role he filled for the next eight years. In addition, Farber served as president of the Herricks Education Association, co-chairman of Herrick Citizens Budget Committee, executive board member of Herricks Committee for Better Schools, member of Herricks Adult Education Advisory Committee and a lifetime member of the Herrick Parents Teacher’s Association.
He joined the Nassau BOCES board in 1971, serving as district clerk from 1979-1980, as vice president from 1980-1987 and as president from 1987 to present.
On the state level, he served the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) as a voting delegate, and member of the Nominating, BOCES and Ethics committees. He has also served as a NYSSBA faculty member and received the Distinguished Service award. He has been a convention presenter to the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and National School Boards Association.
Farber is an ardent collector of unique works of art. He and his wife, Jean, have three grown children and five grandchildren.