Shay Patrick Sullivan, Whittier Tech Teacher, Dies at 44

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Shay Patrick Sullivan.

Shay Patrick Sullivan, a devoted husband, father and son, peacefully passed away on June 11, just shy of his 45th birthday, surrounded by his loving family in Plaistow, N.H.

Born on July 6, 1978, in Methuen, Shay was a passionate educator who dedicated his career to teaching. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UMass Amherst, he started his career as a reporter for the Longboat Key Observer. He later went on to earn a master’s degree in education from UMass Lowell and, from there, spent 14 years as an English teacher at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in Haverhill, where he found true fulfillment in guiding and inspiring young minds. Shay’s commitment to education went beyond the classroom, as he proudly served as president of the teacher’s union. He cherished his role in mentoring and shaping the lives of his students.

Shay’s love for his wife, Gabriella, and their precious daughter, Savannah, was at the very core of his being. His devotion to his family was unwavering, and his daughter, Savannah, was the light of his life.

In addition to his teaching career, Shay was a member of the Haverhill Inner City Boxing Club, where he merged his love for training and teaching. The sport of boxing brought him great happiness and fulfillment.

Shay leaves behind a legacy of love and inspiration, deeply impacting the lives of his family, friends, and the countless students he touched throughout his career. He is survived by his beloved wife, Gabriella, his adored daughter, Savannah, his father Charles Boover and stepmother Nancy Boover of Hampton, N.H., his mother Gail Sullivan and stepfather Joseph LeBlanc of Haverhill, his brothers Jordan, Ryan, and Tyler Boover, his mother-in-law and father-in-law John and Denise Grasso, his sisters-in-law Tiana Rick and her husband Andrew, Gayle Kaniclides and her husband Jim, his brothers-in-law Jonathan Grasso and his wife Kristen, Kevin Grasso and his wife Susan, and Timothy Grasso. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews whom he cherished dearly.

A funeral service will be held on June 20, 2023, at 11 a.m. at the North Parish of Unitarian Universalist Church in North Andover. Interment will follow at Ridgewood Cemetery in North Andover. In lieu of flowers, donations in Shay’s name can be made to the Glioblastoma Foundation online at or by mail at PO Box 62066 Durham, NC 27715.

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