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Teacher Feature: Hilliard Elementary School Principal Mary Flanagan Set to Retire After 41-year Career

Flanagan cites collaboration, teamwork and vision as the keys to sustaining her successful career.

After devoting 41 memorable years to the education of young students, has decided it’s time to say goodbye to a career that has already left an indelible mark on the district. 

The process in choosing her predecessor has just begun, and whomever is chosen will have some big shoes to fill. 

Flanagan recently won a local and regional PTA Outstanding Educator award for her longstanding service to the Westlake City Schools, and her 24-year tenure at Hilliard Elementary exceeds any of her past or present administrative colleagues. 

It has been no easy task, particularly adjusting to the advent of the information age and the inclusion of 21st-century tools like interactive smart boards, laptops and tablets. But as she explained, any challenge was surmountable by selecting a teaching staff that embraced and fused new school vision with old school teamwork. 

Flanagan also relied on the experience she acquired with the 17 years she spent as a teacher in Brecksville and Broadview Heights, starting in 1970. 

“It’s been a great ride and I’ve enjoyed myself,” she said. “I’ve worked with really talented educators and administrators. This is truly a great place to go to school. We have a fabulous and dedicated PTA, and I know when I retire at the conclusion of this year that I’ll be leaving Hilliard in good hands.” 

If you’d like to say goodbye, feel free to leave Flanagan a comment below or say it in person. The community is invited to her . Drinks and refreshments will be served free of charge in the cafeteria. 

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