Pride drives alumni and current students to share all things Farrington

07-Feb-2017

Farrington High alumnus Al Torco is inspiring a new generation of Governors to be proud of their alma mater. Inspired by his love for all things Farrington, the student council has started a project called "This is My Farrington."

​On any given day, you'll likely find Al Torco participating in school events at his alma mater, Farrington High School. He graduated from the Kalihi campus in 1957.

Students affectionately call him "Coach" because of his time spent coaching the football team off and on since 1963.

Over decades, Torco has collected, documented and curated anything and everything that celebrates the Governors. He currently sits on the Farrington Alumni Community Foundation board and serves as the school's historian.

"I always wanted to be an expert in something, and that something ended up being Farrington. I want to know as much as I can because I love this school," he shared as he continued to unload binders filled with black and white pictures circa World War II of the school and students.

"I was supposed to go to McKinley [High], imagine that," he joked.

Torco's extensive Farrington High memorabilia collection was on display during a special assembly in December 2016 commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which included military uniforms, pictures of the campus being used as a hospital following the attack, and class photos of Farrington High students who enlisted in the army to fight during World War II.

"It was really Coach Torco's passion for sharing the history of our school that inspired the assembly. We wanted to make sure our students learned about the important role Farrington High played during World War II and be proud that they are part of that legacy," said Principal Al Carganilla.

For many students, the display was an eye-opening experience and something they'd like to see continue.

"I didn't know our school was converted into a hospital after Pearl Harbor was attacked, that was shocking," said Farrington junior and student council historian Brandon Paulino. "We should continue to have this assembly so future students will know what happened on our campus, it's pretty amazing."

Torco's mission beyond just collecting memorabilia is instilling a sense of school community pride.

"I want these kids to know that they should be proud to be from Farrington, they are part of a very distinguished group of leaders that graduated from this school. There is so much good that is going on at our campus that gets overshadowed by the bad news happening in the Kalihi neighborhood," said Torco.

Torco is also a former police officer. He says the people skills he's learned from being an officer is put to use when teaching students how to deal with challenges.

Fellow Farrington Alumni Community Foundation board member Ropati Liua ('03) explained that Torco's presence on campus has made a positive impact on students.

"Our students have a deep respect for Coach Torco, you can see it as you walk through the halls with him," shared Liua. "He is such an integral part of our campus that our freshman tour includes a stop to meet him and learn about the history of Farrington High School. He has instilled such a strong sense of pride that we have seen an increase in the number of students interested in joining the alumni foundation. They are asking to be members, even at this age."

Inspired by Torco's love for all things Farrington, the student council has started a project called "This is My Farrington." They are seeking Farrington related stories, pictures, videos and any other types of memorabilia to create a video that will be shared with future generations of Governors and housed in a permanent location on campus with the rest of Torco's memorabilia collection.

"When students have a sense of pride in their school they start to think about their behavior and how it'll reflect on the school as well as their community," added Principal Carganilla. "Coach Torco leads by example in showing our students The Farrington Way is not just a mission statement, it's a mindset and a way of life." 

This is My Farrington

If you're interested in submitting pictures, videos or other items to "This is My Farrington" project, please email: farringtonasb@gmail.com

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