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The Westbury Times - Schools

Retiring Teacher: Kathleen Flynn

Kathleen Flynn left the Carle Place district in February after teaching for 26 years. She started in her teaching career later in life. After high school, she went to nursing school and worked for a few years. She got married and had kids, and became very involved in the PTA. Her experience with the PTA and children influenced her decision to go back to school for teaching.

“I felt I had a lot to bring to the table because of my experience being a mother and being involved in the school system,” Flynn said.

She went to Nassau Community College when she was in her early 30s, then finished up her Bachelor’s at Adelphi. Flynn then got a job at Carle Place in February of 1987. Her passion was special education and she taught 7-12 graders in self contained classrooms.

“I felt that special education students needed me more than general education students,” Flynn said. “And that was never a mistake.”

“My heart was in special education,” she continued. “The emphasis there is on the individual. You might not get to know as many students as in general education, but I got to know students on a different and much more involved level.”

In 2002, Flynn became the Chairperson of Special Education for the district and for the last five months of her tenure was a guidance director.  

She says one of her favorite classes to teach was 12th grade English.

“I liked seeing them on the verge of leaving us and starting a whole new chapter of their life. It was very rewarding to see them come back after they graduated,” Flynn said.

In 2011, Flynn was the recipient of the Woman of Distinction award for her work in the district. She says she will miss the students and staff at Carle Place.

“From the superintendent, to the custodian, I’ll miss all those people. When you’ve spent your whole career in one district, you tend to make a lot of close friends,” Flynn says.

Since retiring, she has spent a lot of time with family and is planning on volunteering with the Nassau Literacy Center.