Phil Breton and his cats

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In May of 2012 I was photographing some of the portable classrooms that had been erected on the campus of Appleton Academy. The original school had been closed because it was deemed not in compliance with fire codes.

While I was there I noticed an older gentlemen with two cats on the steps of the Academy. He introduced himself as Phil Breton, a former teacher at the Academy. Appleton was a Prep School from 1968-1974. The main building and the six surrounding buildings comprised the campus. Phil taught French at the school and told me a bit about the daily routines at the school.

Appleton Academy 2012
Appleton Academy in 2012. The building had remained empty for several years but in fall of 2015 will re-open as CITS@APPLETON. It will offer a program for middle school students in hands-on direct learning in the S(cience) T(echnology) E(ngineering) M(ath) areas.
Temporary Classrooms
Portable classrooms were used for elementary students until a new school was built. Phil told me how the grounds were used for recess and sports. Thankfully these buildings have been removed.
Phil and his cat
Phil told me that this cat was 23 years old. He would take both of his cats on a short walk around the campus.
Bastet on the steps of Appleton. This cat is named after the Egyptian goddess of cats.
Bastet was quite friendly
Phil told me how the students would take this path to the 1808 Inn for meals. When the Academy was in operation, the 1808 served as the refectory.

4 thoughts on “Phil Breton and his cats

  1. Hi! I used to teach at the school & sometimes visited with Phil around the time you took these pics. We talked about his cats & “the old days” a lot! (I was one of the teachers stuck in the portables for a few years until they built the new school!) Any idea if Phil is still alive? I know he had health problems before he moved away… Thanks for the memories!


      1. Hi, John! Thanks. Last I knew, he was moving to a place for the elderly in Manchester. But I know his health wasn’t the greatest…and I lost his phone number. (I think he’s friendly with the Cahoons of New Ipswich, but I haven’t seen THEM in ages, either.) Anyway, I was hoping to drop Phil a note or a greeting. 🙂 Thanks. PS: Robin Ellis & his wife were charming, as always, in New York yesterday!


    1. Diane I got a reply from Matt Cahoon about whether Phil still lives in New Ipswich: “No, he lives up here in Manchester (not to far from me) in an apartment complex run by the Knights of Columbus. He is quite happy there and spends his lunch hour speaking French with many of his neighbors. He brought one of his pianos with him from the New Ipswich house and I believe he still plays it regularly. He still has one of the cats from this article and he spoils it rotten.”


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