Flaherty interrupts retirement to teach oral communication

Retirement: a time when folks move onto a new chapter in their lives, finally giving up work for some fun and relaxation. No one deserved this easy lifestyle more than English teacher Diane Flaherty. After 38 years in a classroom, hundreds of students and thousands of papers Flaherty finally decided to put the red pen down and take some much-needed time for herself. In the spring of 2016, she announced that she would not be returning the following year.

However, after just seven short months of retirement, a beloved English teacher is returning to the high school.

“Retirement was a bit dull,” Flaherty said. “I was so used to having all my nights and weekends taken up with grading papers that I didn’t foster any hobbies. I didn’t want to jump in and just fill my time with a bunch of activities that wouldn’t be fulfilling.”

In her free time, Flaherty did continue her volunteer work through St. Pat’s Church and started a support group for young adults. She also began exercising regularly, which she found to be much more fulfilling than she had anticipated.  “For those who know me, this is a major accomplishment,” she said. Her favorite activity in her time off has been taking her grandchildren to school each morning.

Flaherty will be returning at the beginning of second semester to teach the Hawkeye Concurrent Oral Communications class at the high school. No one else has a master’s degree in speech or communication. Therefore, she is the only person in the district who is considered qualified to teach the class.

Flaherty said, “I really missed the kids. Teaching is one of the few jobs where every day is different, and I laughed at something every single day. I’m excited about coming back and enjoying my classes and colleagues again. There’s nothing like it.”

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