Mr. Vercessi’s Sendoff

Nitya Wanchoo

Rashuan Gardner of the Manhasset Broadcasting Company recently put together a video of several members of the Manhasset community saying goodbye to the Associate Principal of Manhasset Secondary School: Peter Vercessi. Mr. Vercessi is retiring after he finishes the 2021-2022 school year, and he will be missed dearly.

The video is a collection of people, either current or retired Manhasset administrators, giving their thanks and appreciation to Mr. Vercessi. Some faculty members that briefly visited the school to film their goodbyes include Mr. Jim Amen who was the former Athletic Director, Ms. Kelly Ramsey who was the former Dean of Students, and Mr. Klang who was a former science teacher. 

The idea first came to fruition when word spread that Mr. Vercessi was retiring. Dr. Coleman, the advisor for the Manhasset Broadcasting Company, immediately knew that a send-off video for Mr. Vercessi was a must. Rashuan then spearheaded this project, taking it upon himself to go the extra mile to make this video all the more special for Mr. Vercessi. Rashuan had gone to Dr. Dean Schlanger, Principal of the Secondary School, to ask about which retirees he could sneak into the school to interview. With some missed lunch periods and helpful editors, he was able to get the film finished in just about three weeks. 

Rashuan recalls the added difficulty of making sure Mr. Vercessi didn’t run into these former faculty members in the school because doing so, he feared, would cause reasonable suspicion and after all, this was a surprise video. Mr. Vercessi, who can often be seen walking around the school with his students, happened to run into Mr. Klang on the day of filming, but it was played off with the excuse that he had come to celebrate another science teacher’s birthday, which was thankfully also true. The process might have been nerve-wracking at the time, but rest assured that all the efforts paid off for an extravagant goodbye video. 

The video consists of interviews with Mr. Chen, Mr. Shapiro, Ms. Mazur, and many others. One common theme found among the participants was that almost everyone finds Mr. Vercessi to be an extremely helpful person. Whether it be advice or favors, Mr. Vercessi has reminded people, time and time again, what it means to be human. The video features several funny anecdotes— one about collecting money from a middle school dance and another about officiating football— that reiterate the fact that Mr. Vercessi is willing to take on a challenge and does so with a positive attitude. Despite all the difficulties this school has faced, such as COVID-19 or a technology hack, it can be unanimously agreed upon that Mr. Vercessi has been a pillar of support and stability for Manhasset schools. He is someone who is easy to talk to. and has been a great force for good in the community. The video closes with several adjectives that middle schools used to describe Mr. Vercessi, like intelligent, interesting, nice, talkative, and funny which just about sum up who Mr. Vercessi is. 

When it was finished, Dr. Coleman invited Mr. Vercessi and a few select students who helped make this video a reality into the MBC Newsroom to watch the Good Morning Manhasset episode, where the full farewell video is previewed. When Mr. Vercessi heard his

name, he grabbed a seat to sit down and began to listen intently. Later, he watched the full version at home and expressed appreciation for such a touching gesture. 

Without question, Mr. Vercessi will be sincerely missed by all those in the Manhasset community. He has helped so many people in countless different ways and has truly made a positive impact. Mr. Vercessi is an inspiration to so many and Manhasset is incredibly grateful to have had him as Associate Principal. Thank you, Mr. Vercessi for all that you have done for so many teachers and students, may retirement treat you well!