On April 15, 2018 former Santa Rosa City Schools teacher Larry Flor died of pancreatic cancer. The teacher, who taught the career and technology education program at Santa Rosa High School, then later at Piner High School, was acclaimed for his experience and hard work that ultimately expressed his genuine interest in his field. Jamie Poore, a former Santa Rosa High School teacher who worked closely with Flor remembers that Flor “gave a great deal of extra time preparing students for the competitions.” Poore explained that Flor’s experience prior to teaching in business brought a new perspective into the career and technical program, giving students the opportunity to understand the field on a broader spectrum.
Additionally, Flor’s colleagues fondly recall his vibrant passion for classical piano, as well as his interest in fly-fishing. Patricia Stage, the Senior High Tech II Registrar at SRHS added that one of her favorite memories of Flor was admiring his musical talent when he would play piano at the end-of-the-year staff party. Stage further went on to explain Flor’s love of music saying, “music was his passion, teaching was his vocation.”
Although Flor had a passion for music until the end, Poore added that his love of teaching shone through when he decided to work as a substitute teacher at SRCS schools during the last few years of his life. Students he substituted remember as unique for his magic tricks.
As for his success in guiding students along the path to regional and state competitions, manufacturing and career technical education teacher Thomas Gutsch expressed that his students “dominated” at the SkillsUSA in these state tournaments. Shedding light on the career technical program, the success of Santa Rosa High School at the tournament, as Poore put it, “brought a certain level of respect to the SRHS [career technical education] program and to SRHS in general.
At the end of his life, Flor visited the Santa Rosa High School staff with the knowledge that he was not doing well. Stage recalls that the moment was “bittersweet” and it was “obvious that SRHS was an important part of his life and he needed to say goodbye.”
Larry Flor lived a full life of music and hard work in his chosen career technical field. His beloved students have carried on with his skills into the workforce, and his extensive work for the career technical program will not be forgot. “I will remember him as a giving person, Poore concluded, that wanted to share his experience and knowledge with students.”
Photo courtesy of Mr. Flor’s Facebook account.