Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 

43 Years In Same Grade, Same School District

Cathy Flores Retiring From Mary Lynch Elementary After Career In Kimball Education


May 28, 2020

Daria Anderson-Faden / The Observer

"It was," Cathy Flores says, "always about the kids." Now it's time for the Kimball teaching legend to retire.

"It was always about the kids," said long time teacher Cathy Flores, reflecting on her 43-year teaching career.

Not many teachers will be able to beat Mrs. Flores' record and her exemplary dedication – 43 years in the same grade, first grade, and same school district, Kimball Public Schools.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1977, she began teaching in Kimball in the fall of that year. She taught at West Elementary School for 35 years and completed the last eight years of teaching at Mary Lynch School.

Mrs. Flores didn't just have the experience in the classroom but obtained her master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley.

First grade teachers have their hands full teaching a wide variety of subjects and skills, according to Mrs. Flores.

"A lot of new skills are taught in first grade," she said. "They learn many phonetic skills to help them learn to read and spell. Fluency, comprehension, grammar are all a part of learning to read.

"Writing is a big part of language arts. Math skills include adding, subtracting, counting, measuring, money and time."

In addition, penmanship is taught and practiced in order to improve letter formation, spacing. Science and social studies skills are also taught. The educational foundation taught in first grade will follow the students throughout their educational career.

Throughout the years, Mrs. Flores has taught with four different ladies in the first-grade setting. She started team teaching with Linda Mihm and ironically had Kelli Fredrick in her first class.

This year when she completed her career, she taught first grade alongside that same Kelli Fredrick, now Mrs. Patterson.

Mrs. Flores had many favorite quotes from her first graders, but she liked one in particular when a 7-year-old student told her, "You're so cute."

She concluded that she "loved to teach" and "loved kids".

She said her retirement plans include, "To live. With cancer, it's about enjoying each day! Being around kids really helped. I will enjoy my family, friends and yard."


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