A proud Mt. Juliet High School graduate, Cathy Toombs just celebrated her retirement after 42 years in education.
A gifted assistant principal, from 2012 to 2017 Toombs helped lead Mt. Juliet Middle School. Prior to that she was assistant principal for six years at Wilson Central High School.
"Once you get into education, it's in your blood," said Toombs, who majored in speech communication and English and Drama.
She even spent four years at Middle Tennessee State University as Director of Continuing Studies.
She came to Wilson County in 1994 as assistant principal at Lebanon High School where she spent seven years.
"On the job" training during her teaching years helped her deal with many personalities as a principal. She said during her over four decades in education as a teacher and in administration, the two years she went back into the classroom invigorated her.
"It was the best decision I made," she recalled. "The classroom renewed my drive as a teacher."
In those two years she first taught English and Drama and then worked on a technology grant to bring technology into the classroom. These two years were just before she accepted the assistant principalship at WCHS.
Both her mom and sister were teachers.
"Education is a big part of my background," she said. "And, I've worked with wonderful teachers."
She said she could not pinpoint one year or one class or one student as her favorite.
"But, I remember my students vividly and the teachers," she said. "They are all my kids. I have absolutely no regrets on my career path."
Now what? Well, travel for sure. Her last day on the job was June 2.
"I went to the beach on June 4!" she laughed.
For now, this veteran educator seeks peace and quiet and time to unwind and reflect. Her second trip to the beach is cut short by this season's first hurricane,
The life-change that comes with retirement after so many years of working hasn't really hit Toombs yet.
"I never worked summers, so things aren't different yet," she said. "But, come school start I am sure it will be strange not going to school. We will see. As I said, no regrets."