By Ted Waddell
MONTICELLO May 1, 2007 Ken Garry, long-standing athletic director at Monticello Central School, is a familiar figure around the fields of high school competition. He is a quiet force along the sidelines at home team sporting events, lending his support to the Panthers.
On Saturday, Garry was honored during the 2007 Monticello Games with a plaque for his 35 years of service to the Monticello district. Making the presentation to Garry were veteran Monticello Coaches Buddy Goldsmith and Pete Wysochanski.
“In the field of education, we strive to enable our students to be empowered by becoming life-long learners,” said Patrick Kennedy from his post above a granite marker recognizing the athletic complex below as Ed Kennedy Field.
Patrick Kennedy, a former AD at Middletown High School, is one of Ed Kennedy’s sons.
In 2000, Edward R. Kennedy Sr., who passed away two years prior, was honored by Monticello High School with the granite marker dedicating the athletic fields to him. Kennedy was a longtime AD and soccer coach at the school.
“In order to attain this goal, our students must encounter role models who embrace and exemplify the qualities we hope they would emulate,” Patrick Kennedy added.
In noting that Garry will be retiring at the end of the school year with 35 years of service with the district, Kennedy called Garry “a very visible example of the most committed, dedicated and highly motivated life-long learner who has a been a career employee of the Monticello Central School District.”
In 1972, Garry started his career as a physical education teacher and driver’s ed instructor at Monticello. He also coached various sports, including baseball and basketball.
As the 1970s moved along, Garry became involved in coaching cross country at the varsity level. At the same time, Kennedy said that Garry began “researching, studying and investigating various training philosophies and methods to arrive at a successful formula to the benefit on the Monticello community.”
Kennedy noted that during the 1980s, Garry coached several varsity sports, including cross country and indoor/outdoor track, while “building the Monticello program into a program of prominence at the league, section and state levels.”
In his tenure as a varsity coach, Garry’s teams won four Section IX track and field championships. He also guided six individual state indoor track champions.
Starting in 1988, he made the transition from teacher/coach to athletic director.
“Ken wasted no time in applying his organizational and administrative skills to benefit all the Monticello athletic programs,” Patrick Kennedy said. “He has been a strong voice in the OCIAA and has been highly involved in the New York State Athletic Administrator’s Association (NYSAAA), where he became this year’s president.”
“Under Ken’s tenure, Monticello’s success in the achievement of New York State Student-Athlete teams has been phenomenal,” Kennedy added.
Ken Garry’s daughters Meghan Garry from New Paltz and Erin Garry of New York City stood next to their father during the presentation. The honoree was also surrounded by several former athletes, officials and coaches.