Coughlin completes 25 years at WA

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By Sameer Kini
Staff Writer

Math Coordinator and teacher Cathy Coughlin has just finished her 25th year teaching at WA. Today, she is the curriculum coordinator of the entire math department. Because of her completion of 25 years at WA, Mrs. Coughlin will be receiving a commemorative chair, as thanks for her great help to the school community. She has been working as curriculum coordinator for 5 years now as well, in which she undertakes the responsibility for maintaining the curriculum for the high school, as well as both middle schools in Westford.
Mrs. Coughlin has been teaching for 28 years during her entire career, as she began teaching in a school in New Hampshire, because no Massachusetts schools were hiring. As a graduate of WA, when the opportunity arose to come back to Westford to teach, Mrs. Coughlin did not hesitate at all in taking the job. 25 years later, Mrs. Coughlin continues her teaching career at WA, one that she has thoroughly enjoyed.
One reason for Mrs. Coughlin’s lasting career at WA is the students because she said that they are “always respectful and eager to learn,” which is why she consistently looks forward to her teaching. She also said that while she enjoyed being curriculum coordinator and having to organize the math courses taught, there is nothing that she enjoys more than being able to teach to such a great group of students. She stated that while she was honored to have the opportunity to hold the position of coordinator, she “loves the teaching aspect” of her position.
Mrs. Coughlin has also been amazed by the support the staff and students gave her when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. For a period of 6 months, Mrs. Coughlin underwent chemotherapy every week and could not be more grateful for the encouragement and support that she received from her students, as well as colleagues in this trying time of her life.
Overall, Mrs. Coughlin is honored to have had this opportunity to work with such great people and students during her tenure at WA. She said that teaching at WA actually taught her quite a bit about different perspectives and aspects of people that she would not have seen otherwise. She believed that when she first started working at WA, everything was “black and white,” but teaching has actually taught her about “many different aspects and perspectives people have.”
Mrs. Coughlin hopes to continue teaching for many more years here at WA, but when that time comes when she retires, she says the thing she will miss most is the friendships she has made. She said that “most teachers say they miss the friendships the most, and I have no doubt that that is what I am going to miss.” She stated that she is honored to have had this opportunity to work with and grow closer to such amazing students and colleagues during her time teaching.
Mrs. Coughlin is truly thankful for everything that WA has given her during the last 25 years.