Condolences

Condolences to the Family of Phillip F. Flaherty

2020

Sorry to hear this. He was a wonderful principal.

Mary (Eldridge) Cafarella. WHS Class of 1985
2020

I remember Mr. Flaherty's history classes so clearly. He would sit on the middle desk in the front row, somehow balancing there without tipping over, and would teach history by telling the most interesting stories. I was fascinated by his classes and think my lifelong interest in history is thanks to Mr. Flaherty. Entertaining, tough, fair ... he was truly a stand-out teacher. My deepest condolences to his family. WHS '70.

Nancy Coleman Pendleton
2020

I worked for Phil at WHS and - as so many others did - learned a great deal from watching him in action. He was one smart, savvy, fierce and funny man. Deep condolences to his family, May you hold thoughts of his spirit and Pat's now never apart.

Stephanie Shute Kelsch
2020

Sue and family My deepest condolences on your fathers passing. Your dad and I had a special relationship when I was in high school, mostly because of my behavior. However, I will always remember advice that he gave me, along with detention. I still believe that what he would say made me a better person today.

Curt Bigelow
2020

Mr. Flaherty was my favorite teacher in all my years in school. He required excellence even when you didn’t want to give it, but you did. I thank him so much for that, and my love of European history. It served me in good stead living in Europe for so many years and still.

Deborah Gill
2020

I graduated from WHS in 1960 and remember "Mr. Flaherty" as a favorite teacher. Going back to Jr. High he made history come alive which certainly helped the learning process. All the way through high school on to college applications, he couldn't have been a better teacher or more supportive and encouraging person. My sincere condolences to his family.

Judith Lawrence Graef
2020

Heartfelt sympathies to Mr. Flaherty's family. No matter how old we get, revered teachers always remain "Mr." A member of the Class of 1962, I was privileged to be in Mr. Flaherty's History and Problems of Democracy classes at WHS. He was a key influence in my going to college in Washington D.C. and remaining there for a 30+-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency. He honored us with his presence at several of our reunions, which contributed to making them extra special. To me, he will always be one of those teachers who truly made a difference.

Dianne Watson Rankin
2020

Mr. Flaherty was my math teacher in jr. high, then my civics teacher in high school. What an outstanding person he was. Strong in mind and heart, caring and witty - we never doubted that he loved his work as an educator and came to it each day with all of his considerable gifts. So sorry that the current plague took him from you. Please know that he is remembered by many, many of his former students and colleagues with gratitude and love. Special condolences to Mr. Flahive, another warmly remembered WHS educator.

Elizabeth (Betsy Beale) Clifford
2020

Twenty two years ago as a brand new principal, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Flaherty. I am so fortunate to have had Mr. Flaherty as a mentor, colleague, and friend. Even though we would just see each other occasionally when I came to the MSAA office for committee meetings during the school year, every time he saw me, he always took the time to sit and talk with me - to listen, to share, and to advise. We always reconnected during the Summer Institute where we would talk about the school year. However, more importantly than that, he would share stories with me, my husband, and my children - stories that we will cherish forever. I am grateful for all that Mr. Flaherty has done for me both professionally and personally - he will always hold a very special place in my heart. Chris Vigneux

Christine Vigneux
2020

Always a Champion of Kids! A mentor and great friend. To his family, my sympathies, know that our God welcomed him with a Well Done!

Bob Keuther - Principal Marshfield High School
2020

So sad to hear of Mr. Flaherty’s passing. He was a great guy with a great sense of humor who always treated me with respect and kindness. He was devoted to his students and everyone loved him for it. I still think of him and Mr. Flahive often; was nice to see they remained lifelong friends. We sure gave them a run for their money, but they both took it in stride. Condolences to his family, RIP to a legend of WHS. Christine Guerriero, class of 1986

Christine Guerriero
2020

I was so sorry to hear about Mr. Flaherty's passing. He was a wonderful principal at Westwood High School. A great leader who really cared about his students and had a keen sense of humor.

Liz Grube
2020

I am a WHS 1974 graduate. Mr. Flaherty was a fair and caring educator. I appreciated his then and remember him fondly now. I send his family love.

Julie Rogersn Love
2020

Mr. Flaherty was my history teacher while I attended high school in the last 50’s-Early 60’s. His was the class I looked forward to attending and the one that inspired me to learn. He was a special teacher. Condolences and blessings.

Sheila (Savage) Starratt
2020

I came to know Phil when he joined the MIAA. I was a past President and charter member of the Association . I quickly realized he was an outstanding addition to the staff. His writing skills were incredible and represented the organization extremely well. He always had time to share his opinion on matters impacting the the decision making process. He certainly was a difference maker.

A. Scott MacKinlay Principal (retired) Rockland H.S.
2020

Phil was my first Principal. He and Charlie Flahive mentored me, an enthusiastic, but inexperienced, young math teacher. It was 1980. I learned more at Westwood High during my 14 years there than I ever imagined that I could. WHS was a place which exposed me to great leadership, wonderful students, terrific parents, and the most amazing colleagues. Jim Pender, Charlie Flahive, Phil Flaherty, (also Ed, Dave, Judy, Christine, Dick, Ray, Harvey, and Joe G) all made me a better teacher and a better person. I am so fortunate to have learned from the best. Blessings to Phil’s family— what a great guy.

Karen (Maruca) (Tosca) Shea
2020

Sue, my condolences to you and your family. Thinking of you at this difficult time. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Patti Sadowski
2020

I was fortunate enough to have met Phil at MSSAA, and he was a mentor to me several years ago. I admired his spirit. He had an understanding and direct way of dialogue. I never forgot him. He had an influence on me and my career. I feel fortunate to have known him. May he rest in God's everlasting peace. My condolences to all his family and friends.

Elizabeth Rodrigues
2020

Phil and I were best friends for 60 years. He was a mentor and we worked together at the high school for many years. I remember him being a superior track coach and a talented high jumper. We shared lots of memories of Maine. I will miss him greatly.

Charles Flahive
2020

An exceptional teacher and inspiration. We have lost a great one. My thoughts go out to everyone. Peter WHS ‘70

Peter Vaas
2020

Paula: Your father was a remarkable man! You should be proud. ! So sorry for your loss and the pain that you are going through. Thinking of you and praying for you and your family. Take care. Love Gerri Bullock

Gerri Bullock
2020

I first met Phil July 2008 when I began to work at MSSAA. It soon became obvious that he was a passionate educator working consistently to improve the lives of students by supporting the administrators who served them. It also became obvious that Phil was an intelligent and thoughtful proponent of doing things the right way for the right reason. He had an exquisitely perfect way to express himself through his writing and was equally eloquent in his ability to state his case for why his opinion was the right opinion. We spent much time talking education, politics, and sports, especially baseball. I leaned a great deal from him, respected him as much as I ever respected anyone, and missed him greatly when he stopped being a regular presence at the office. I know he was incredibly proud of his family and forever in love with Pat, whom he frequently said was the most beautiful woman he ever met. I know Phil will be greatly missed by all who knew him. I pray that his family will be well and be comforted to know that such a terrific man as Phil loved them dearly.

Arthur Dulong
2020

It was a great honor to work with Phil at the MSAA. The year I was POY Phil contacted me and wrote a beautiful summary of my career. It was a highlight of the award working and sharing with him both memories of our days as principals. Now I am retired and working for MSAA and hope to have the same impact on our students by supporting the administrators in our state. God Bless Phil and thank you for your mentorship!

Larry Murphy
2020

So sorry to hear of the passing Phil and his wife. Phil was old school and a real gentleman who will be missed by many. Requiescat in pace friend.

Terry Bleiler
2020

I am so sorry for your loss. He was such an amazing man. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Denise Gallagher and Kevin McGonagle
2020

I am so very sorry to hear of this news. Phil was my mentor when I was younger and trying to finish my Master's Degree. He was my own personal teacher and editor when I was writing papers for school. In his spare time, he taught me a lot about wood working especially when we demolished my kitchen and we built the cabinets for the new kitchen. A funny and talented man, I am proud to have known him and will miss him even though I haven't seen him in a while. Rest in Peace Phillip,

Charles Creighton
2020

Carol so sorry for your lose mom and then dad my heart and prayers go out to you and your family

Gayle Carson
2020

Adam, I know how much he meant to you and my heart goes out to you and your family. You will get through this and I’m always here for you. Love and hugs.

Judy Audette