When Billy Flynn hangs up his light blue uniform after working in Paresky Commons, he puts on a denim jacket covered with numerous police patches and continues with his day. Known by students, faculty and fellow staff alike as “Billy,” Flynn is a proud patch collector, having accumulated over 500 police patches and four denim jackets covered in them. Out of all the police patches he owns, his favorite is that of the Andover Police.
Billy, 44, is a beloved member of the Paresky Commons food service team. He has worked at Paresky for 24 years. Right after his high school graduation, he earned a two-week trial in Paresky, and has been working there ever since. His first job was to clean the dishes and do odd jobs, but now he has worked his way to the position of Custodial Supervisor. This year will be his 25th year at Andover.
“I’ve always wanted to work at Phillips Academy,” Billy said.
A few things may strike you once you get to know Billy, especially his kindness and good nature. If you meet him in Paresky, he will greet you and ask you about your day. Amogh Sharma ’14 said that Billy greets him every time he is in Commons, even though the two don’t know each other very well.
Billy is very attentive of safety and is CPR-certified, often warning students of potentially dangerous situations.One day at lunch, Billy came up to Chris Lai ’14 and told him to be careful when walking because he had just finished mopping the floor.
Billy is incredibly passionate for several charitable causes. Every year, Billy raises funds for diabetes. As a diabetic himself, he knows the troubles of having the disease and hopes that by raising funds for this cause, scientists will someday find a cure. He has been donating at least $1,000 each year and broke his own fundraising record this year.
Billy said that he has raised $3,218.34 so far this year, surpassing his initial goal of $3,000. “Can you put the link to my donating page in the article?” Billy said. The link can be found in the online article, or by Googling “William’s Step Out Page.”
At the age of ten, Billy joined the ARC weekly community service program for special needs individuals, where Andover students and ARC ‘buddies’ bond over 90 minutes of games and activities. He has been attending ARC every Tuesday for the past 34 years, and is famously known for sharing his tunes with his ARC buddies.
Every ARC session, Billy rocks his yellow neon jacket, New Balance sneakers—which he says are essential for road safety—and his Andover hat. He sets up his speakers, plugs-in his iPhone and plays his favorite tunes such as “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, “Y.M.C.A” by Village People, “Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh or songs from the “Rocky” soundtrack. Every night, the crowd surrounds his sound system as the music plays. Billy said he enjoys watching people dance and hum to his music.
After almost 25 years of service, he has encountered over 8000 Andover students and faculty. Although he has not gotten to know all of them, he said he would have loved to.
“What I want for them to know is that I am a good worker… and a good friend.” Billy said with a hearty smile and twinkle in his eye.
_This article was written for English 514: Journalism and submitted to_ The Phillipian.