Alumni Spotlight: Captain James Garrison


Christopher Tamburro, Staff Writer

The Clarion is excited to introduce a new column called “Alumni Spotlight” showcasing graduates from Hawthorne High School. Next up, is HHS alumni  James A. Garrison from the class of 1983.


Clarion: How was your HHS experience?

Captain Garrison: My high school experience was awesome. I was lucky enough to have great educators and administrators who cared. I also made several lifelong friendships at HHS that I value deeply to this day.


Clarion: What was your favorite high  school memory?

Captain Garrison: My favorite high school memory had to be graduation. After four long years of hard work and dedication, I finally graduated. It was something that I was very proud of.

Clarion: What are you up to now?

Captain Garrison: Well, after high school I attended William Paterson University, and decided to become a police officer. I am now in my 30th year with the Hawthorne Police Department. I currently hold the rank of Captain and oversee the day to day operations of the patrol division.

Clarion: Did you play any sports or were you a part of any clubs?

Captain Garrison: Yes. throughout my four years at HHS, I played various sports. I played football, baseball, soccer, track, and tennis.

Clarion: Did you end up attending college if so where?

Captain Garrison: I attended William Paterson in Wayne for 2 to 3 years, then started to take police tests. I was fortunate enough to get onto the Hawthorne Police Department in 1989.

Clarion: Who was your favorite teacher?

Captain Garrison: My favorite teacher was Mr. Masiello who  taught Geometry. He was an interesting individual with a unique way of teaching. It was always an adventure in his class.

Clarion: Did any of your teachers at HHS impact your life in any way?

Captain Garrison: I can’t say that one teacher in particular impacted my life, but for me, it was more of a compilation of teachers. I took advice and listened to what each and every teacher had to say during my time at HHS. That helped prepare and mold me for my future endeavors.

Clarion: If you had to do high school all over again, what would you do differently?

Captain Garrison: Although I feel I gave it a good effort from what I can remember, I probably could have worked harder. I think that’s typical for most people when looking back. As you get older, you appreciate people and your experiences more. As Irish playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw once allegedly said, “Youth is wasted on the young.”