"All I've ever wanted to do was teach," Mrs. Cosby said. "It never
was an issue to consider. I always knew this is what I would do."
Cathy went to schools in Lincoln. One of her favorite teachers was
Elizabeth Humphrey at Northwest School. She also attended St. Mary's
and Carroll Catholic, where a nun named Sister Bridget Ann "was the
most caring and loving teacher you could ever have."
After elementary school she attended Lincoln Community High
School and Illinois State University, where she obtained her
bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education.
She began her teaching career in San Jose, where she was hired as
the fifth-grade teacher and the second year was moved to the
third-grade classroom. After marrying she left San Jose Elementary
School, which has since closed.
After her youngest child was in school, Cathy returned to the
classroom setting as the Writing to Read aide at Jefferson School
and continued in that position for six years. When the second-grade
teacher retired, she was hired to fill that position. One year she
was asked to teach first-grade, and this, her final year, she was
also needed in the first-grade classroom.
Cathy has enjoyed being an educator, but she has also spent time
on extracurricular activities and special events. She and her
husband, Steven, long ago assumed the responsibility of tending the
garden in the Jefferson School yard.
In her spare time, Cathy really loves to antique. "I'm hoping to
do a lot more of that," she said, "and now I can read more, and we
plan to travel. I think I'll relax, too, after I finish some of the
things I've wanted to get done." She does not plan to return to
school as a substitute teacher.
Cathy's husband has been retired for three years. Steven was
formerly the first-grade teacher at Adams School, and now he
volunteers at the Postville Courthouse and Christian Nursing Home.
Cathy is not sure if she will be a volunteer but expects to find
plenty of things to do, now that retirement will allow more time.
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Their oldest son, James, is stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. He is a
member of the Illinois National Guard and is attending school to be
a special forces medic. Their youngest son, John, is graduating from
Elmhurst College with a double major in business and Spanish. With
children going in different directions, the Cosbys expect to visit
them and enjoy the change of scenery.
About her career of 28 years, Cathy said: "I am glad I got to
teach when I did. Things are changing, and it isn't the same as when
I started teaching. People that go into teaching now will be in a
different world. It will not be the same environment and experience
for new teachers coming into the profession.
"I taught with some very good teachers and under some good
administrators -- both in San Jose and Lincoln," she said. "I was
very fortunate and enjoyed my 28 years of teaching, partly because
of the people in the school. I will miss them, but it's time to go
and let someone else take over."
[By MARLA BLAIR]