Small World Preschool teacher Cathy Dubin is retiring after 36 years of work and teaching more than 1,000 children in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Dubin began her teaching career at Small World in approximately 1986. She originally was just dropping her son and daughter off to go through the program, but over time she gained interest in teaching for them.
One day, Small World offered a teaching position at the preschool level.
Why was her interest at the preschool level? “So, I’m bigger than them,” Dubin said jokingly.
Dubin’s classroom was never just a place of learning, but a place of creative freedom.
“She is very creative with artwork,” said Monica Gomez, fellow teacher at Small World. Varsha Welinkar, another fellow teacher, added that Dubin’s lesson plans were very intricate.
For Christmas, she would decorate the room head to toe and teach the kids to sing Christmas songs. Dubin implements a Hawaiian lesson into her curriculum as well, teaching all her students how to do Hawaiian dances.
Her classroom was never just a classroom: “The classroom was called ‘Cathy’s room,’” said Welinkar.
Dubin’s love for teaching extends farther than four walls filled with notebooks, pencils and crayons. Her love is for the children she teaches and the community she works with.
“It was just a family,” said Dubin. “It was just a fun place to work. I never wanted to work anyplace else.”
Dubin is retiring at the end of October to move to Arizona to be with her daughter and newborn grandson.
“That’s why I’m moving, otherwise I’d still be here,” said Dubin.
Teaching is still in her heart, and she hopes to continue at the preschool level.
“I’ll work again in Arizona, but it won’t be like here,” said Dubin.
The news was “bittersweet” to all of Dubin’s colleagues.
“It was a feeling of, what we call (to) the kids, a double feeling of, I’m so thrilled that she’ll be going to join her family, but she’ll be leaving a big hole here at Smal World,” said Michelle Moyer, director at Small World Preschool. “Her legacy is really very unusual.”
Moyer organized an open house for Dubin on Friday — a chance for past and current teachers and students to say goodbye to Dubin before her departure.
“I figured after all these years of dedication and generations of children that have come through this school, she deserved recognition of celebrating all of her years of hard work at this preschool,” said Moyer.