Caesar Rodney’s Farley looks back on a career in technology

Caesar Rodney School District Director of Support Services Daniel Farley, center, is surrounded by his staff of technology specialists, from left, Charlie Stewart, Jason Coffin, Roger Hall, Susan Shelor, Mary Birney, Jesse Shrader and Terry Lovin. Mr. Farley is retiring on April 28 after 25 years with the state of Delaware. (Caesar Rodney School District/Dave Chambers)

CAMDEN — Dan Farley wears many hats within the Caesar Rodney School District as the director of Support Services, where he supervises the departments of technology, transportation, food service and district facilities.

However, after his retirement on April 28, Mr. Farley hopes to whittle it down to just a couple of hats — that of a loving father to his two daughters and eventually a captain’s hat for a two-person sailboat he plans to build in his spare time.

“This just seemed like the right time to retire, to be honest,” said Mr. Farley, a 62-year-old resident of Marydel. “People have always told me, ‘You’ll know when it’s time,’ and I knew it was time.

“(I will miss) the people the most. I love the people here at CR — the staff I have here and my day-to-day duties. We have fun and that’s part of life. We have some fun at what we do.”

Mr. Farley has worked in the Caesar Rodney School District on two separate occasions, from 1994 until 1997, when he served as the district’s first Supervisor of Technology and helped usher CR into the computer age and from 2013 until now, where he supervises four separate departments as Director of Support Services.

Mr. Farley has also been employed by many other state agencies over 25 years, such as the Capital and Red Clay school districts, along with the Delaware Department of Education and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.

Dan Farley is a 1973 graduate of Caesar Rodney High School. (Submitted photo)

But it is within the Caesar Rodney School District where he has always been the most comfortable. After all, he was a 1973 graduate from Caesar Rodney High School.

“I’m a Caesar Rodney boy,” he said. “I graduated in 1973, so yes, it is my favorite. I’m still a Rider at heart and I always will be. I bleed blue and gold.”

Under Mr. Farley’s leadership, Caesar Rodney schools moved into the computer age beginning in 1994. He said the time of the computer breakthrough is one of the highlights of his career.

“I’d say just taking technology from its infancy in the schools around 1994,” said Mr. Farley. “There wasn’t an internet back then. Here at Caesar Rodney, in 1994, there weren’t even computers on the secretary’s desks.

“That was my first job (at CR), to put computers on their desks and move them into the computer age. I’d say, just in general, (my fondest memory at CR) was taking technology from its infancy to where we are now.”

Mr. Farley said the difference in the school district between the mid-1990s until now is like night and day — and it’s mostly because of computers and the internet.

“It’s huge,” he said. “The data that we can pull up on a computer on a given moment just on where students are, how much time they’ve missed, what their grades are. There’s so much data available now. We have a whole team who can do that.

“I was looking at administratively what it does for us with the data, and with the crunch numbers. But the student’s side, they don’t need the library as much. They can research at home and that’s a valuable asset.”

In Mr. Farley’s current role as Director of Support Services, he has an impact on every student in the district.

During his career at the Caesar Rodney School District, he led the push for increased bandwidth, which allowed more students to have computer access, spearheaded the renovation and construction of buildings, revamped the district’s transportation schedule and helped create a summer meals program for at-risk students.

Mr. Farley said supervising four different departments can get a little bit hectic at times, but his staff helps to make things run as smoothly as possible for him.

Caesar Rodney School District Director of Support Services Daniel Farley, center, holds a special district board tribute as he stands with board members, from left, Dover Air Force Base liaison Lt. Col. Arnold Mosley, board president William Bush IV, board vice president Jessica Marelli, member Mike Marasco and superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald during a school board meeting at Fifer Middle School on April 12. (Caesar Rodney School District/Dave Chambers)

“There’s so much going on. The day-to-day process, it’s huge,” he said. “But, I’ve got to say, I have the most outstanding team between technology and the other three divisions being transportation, food service and facilities that I really act as a director. They run it and I don’t micromanage them.

“They’re all so outstanding that they run it and if they come up against a wall, then I help them out. The generalization is that these people are so skilled, they don’t need me in their business on a daily basis.”

After April 28, Mr. Farley won’t be in anybody’s business except his own — and he admittedly can’t wait to try out retirement.

“I’m going to build a nice little two-person sailboat,” said Mr. Farley, whose wife died 11 years ago.

“That’s what I’m going to do and I’m going to spend some time sailing out on the Chesapeake Bay around Rock Hall and Easter Neck Island, that’s where I plan to go. Oh, yeah, I’m looking forward to retirement. It’s time.”

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