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Article: Bill Flynn Named 2022 Friend of the School Award Recipient

Bill Flynn Named 2022 Friend of the School Award Recipient

Bill Flynn, Marie Huenefeld, Steve Estepp and board of education

In 2015, the Mariemont City School District launched the Marie Huenefeld Friend of the School award to recognize individuals in the community who make significant contributions to the school district with their time, service and/or expertise to create a better experience for students.
At the May Board of Education meeting, Bill Flynn was officially recognized as the 2022 recipient of the Marie Huenefeld Friend of the School award. 
“We have a tremendous community of supporters at Mariemont City Schools” said district superintendent Steven Estepp. “This award was established to honor those community members who go above and beyond for our schools and our students. While there are many people who are deserving of this recognition, Bill has contributed to our district in many ways ranging from parent volunteer to Board of Education member. I am honored to present the 2022 Marie Huenefeld Friend of the School Award to Mr. Bill Flynn, or as he may better be known, ‘The Voice of the Warriors.’”
Bill, who is an accomplished attorney for Strauss Troy with over 37 years of experience as a litigation and trial counselor, began his time with the Mariemont City School District in 1993 when his oldest daughter entered kindergarten. His younger two children also followed through the district and he had at least one child in the schools until 2013.
During the 2006-07 school year he took on his first committee role as a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee for then superintendent Gerry Harris and took on the task of running a successful school district levy campaign in 2007. 
That year he also began his tenure as the Mariemont High School athletics public address announcer, spending 12 seasons working with the soccer, boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls basketball and football teams. He also volunteered his time with the Mariemont Athletic Boosters support organization and served as the group’s treasurer for four years. His dedication to Mariemont athletics and talent on the mic earned him the title of “Voice of the Warriors” and even though he no longer serves as the PA announcer, his name and legacy carry on.
“Bill was and is a true friend of the schools” said Mariemont Athletics Director Tom Nerl. “He spent many hours at Warriors sporting events as the ‘Voice of the Warriors’ while his children participated in sports and remained long after they graduated, bringing excitement and professionalism to the announcing role. He became a friend and a trusted confidant to me. I appreciate everything he has done for our district.”
And while all of that is certainly enough to earn Bill this Friend of the School Award, arguably his biggest contribution to the school district came in 2009 when he stepped into the role of Board of Education member. For over 10 years, he gave his time, talent and expertise overseeing our district’s operations and governance, making decisions to truly advance our district and set the students and staff up for success year after year.
During his Board of Education tenure, he served as Board president on several occasions, leading Mariemont City Schools to new heights. He oversaw building construction projects for all four of our school buildings and during his tenure, Mariemont Elementary was awarded a National Blue Ribbon Award, the highest honor bestowed to a school in the United States. 
And throughout his nearly 30 years as a dedicated member of the Mariemont City School District, Bill also served as friend and mentor to all he interacted with, including current Board of Education president Laura Organisciak who had this to say about his legacy: “Since the first day I moved to the School District, Bill has served not only as a friend to the Schools but as a friend to his community and neighbors, offering his help both personally and professionally to those in need, a smile across the fence and always a genuine conversation about topics that matter to you. His dedication goes far beyond the time in the district when his kids walked the halls of our school buildings and his continued service and constant reminder that students must always come first was invaluable during some of the most challenging times our school district has faced. Bill's legacy will continue to live on through the halls that he helped build and the memories he has left with so many.”
Bill’s former Board of Education colleague, Nan Dill, also added this when speaking about his contribution to Mariemont City Schools: “Bill is that rare combination of a sharp mind, a huge heart and a wise soul. He is a person of tremendous integrity who truly loves giving back. All of these amazing characteristics were obvious whether Bill was in a Board of Education meeting or the Press Box. Our community will never fully know how much Bill’s dedication and commitment helped our district. I know I am a better school board member, community member and human being for having worked with him.”
This award was created in honor and recognition of a retired Board of Education member, Marie Huenefeld, who received the inaugural Friend of the School award in 2016. Huenefeld was first elected to the board in November of 1987 and served through 2015. Other recipients of the Friend of the School award include Rusty Wilson (2016), Don Gurney (2017), Chandra Buswell (2018), Jack Smith (2019) and Nancy Eigel-Miller (2021).

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