William ’83 and Leslie Flick

Alumnus is grateful to have risked becoming his best by choosing a postgraduate year at Perkiomen.

Life can sometimes seem as though it was built upon predetermined timelines and phases lumped together in tidy packages. Eight years of grade school, four years of high school, four years of college or military service… In these groupings of time, there’s space to develop complex relationships, and if we’re lucky, better, internal navigation systems that prepare us for what’s next. But what happens when you take a step away from those preset phases? When your ultimate goals require a slight extension to the timeline? If you’re Bill Flick ’83, extending the timeline meant reaching the summit of his dreams. Instead of merely flying, he soared. Instead of a life spent wondering, he knows. 

Graduating from high school in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Bill could easily have gone right on to college. He was recruited by several to play football. But Bill knew, with better grades and test scores, he could aim higher. As Leslie, his wife of 28 years thoughtfully concluded, as an 18-year-old, Bill was a product of a larger public school. No one had ever singled him out or encouraged him to be a better student. This was all about to change. It may have been fortuitous or even serendipitous: During his senior year, he met Perkiomen School’s own Coach Ken Baker. Being only 17 when he graduated high school, Bill decided an additional year of preparatory school, Advanced Placement classes, and football would be beneficial. He was right.

Bill took to Perkiomen immediately. He started the year with confidence, making 35 friends from football preseason prior to the start of classes. From day one, Bill was focused. He was taught to write in his AP English Composition Class with Ralph Hossman and looked up to his football coach and economics teacher, Reid Watson. He found guidance and honorary family members in administrators like Susan Thomas and Kevin Manferdini. He managed the girls basketball team alongside Coach Manferdini and went home on weekends, always bringing along friends. He stayed out of trouble while keeping his eye on the prize of graduating with better grades.

Bill succeeded. After graduating from Emmaus High School, he had been waitlisted at Lehigh University, his dream school. After his postgraduate year at Perkiomen School, Bill went on to major in economics and play football at Columbia University. Among his Perkiomen friends and teammates, Jim Sheedy ‘83 played for Syracuse, roommate Paul Lomanto ’83 played for Vanderbilt, Walt Cummins ’83 played for Juniata, and Paul Leddy ’83 went to Ursinus. His group of friends supported one another and were steadfast in their goals— it showed!

As a student at Perkiomen, Bill saw results from his hard work: a lesson that would follow him well into his career. Bill’s path continued with a couple of twists and turns, but his gut and passions led him to a few things that he considers to be the pride of his journey today.

He met his wife Leslie at Temple University when she was an undergraduate and he was in the Master of Education program. They hit it off right away. “The grad school guys were more fun to hang out with than the undergrads,” Leslie says with a chuckle. After marrying in 1994, they went on to have four children, the absolute joys of their lives. After a career in sales and then with an accounting firm, Bill bought out his former employer in 2015 and is now head of this company, consulting with and guiding businesses in tax law across the United States. 

Bill recalls returning home for a weekend during his spring term at Perkiomen and discovering his first college acceptance letter of the year. It was from Lehigh University, his original dream school that had once waitlisted him. The first person he wanted to tell was Susan Thomas at Perkiomen. In the Franklin Field locker room when Columbia played UPenn during his freshman year, Mr. Watson, his former coach and history teacher, showed up to surprise him, expressing his pride in Bill’s accomplishments. Today, he still keeps in touch with Alumni Director Diana Weir-Smith ‘85 and Assistant Head of School for Student Life Kevin Manferdini along with fellow alumni around the country.

Though it was only a year, Perkiomen School surely had a significant impact on William Flick’s life. It wasn’t fancy (he remembers when you couldn’t be in the shower when someone flushed the toilet in Kriebel Hall), but Perkiomen influenced his life profoundly. Academically, he soared. Socially, he found genuine care in faculty and staff who made him feel wanted, and among friends who made him feel included. Reflecting, Bill’s one year at Perkiomen did more for him than his four years at Columbia or three years at Temple. With their kids nearing independence, Bill and Leslie feel great about showing their gratitude to Perkiomen.

“Perkiomen embraced me!” Bill shares.

Thank you, Bill and Leslie, for returning the love and support.

In gratitude for Bill’s postgraduate experience at Perkiomen School which led him to a successful life path, Bill and Leslie Flick are contributing to the construction of Perkiomen’s new student center to name one of the College Counseling offices in honor of coaches and mentors Ken Baker, Kevin Manferdini, and Reid Watson. These offices serve students as they prepare for and execute the college search process. In addition to being a day-to-day office space for the college counselors, these spaces function as meeting spaces to connect one-on-one with students throughout the year. During the fall, it will offer a comfortable place for visiting college admission officers to conduct meetings with and share and receive important updates with our college counseling faculty.