The Allen ISD community recently helped a longtime educator celebrate her birthday, even though COVID-19 caused the celebration to look a little different.

A car parade was organized for Cathy Humphreys, who spent 50 years teaching, including 30 as a special education teacher at Curtis Middle School.

Humphreys and her husband Roger moved to Allen in 1975 to raise their son Brandon. At the time, Allen had a population of 2,500, she said.

At the time Humphreys worked for Southwestern Bell, but when the office was shut down she began working at the high school as part of the support staff for the cafeteria.

“I worked there 5 years and loved it.  I found I loved the kids,” Humphreys said.

She was then hired to oversee the students in in-school suspension at Curtis.

“I loved the seventh- and eighth-graders,” she said. “You find you either love ‘em or hate ‘em.  It is an interesting age.”

Humphreys worked at Curtis until she retired, finishing with 26 years in Allen ISD.   

“I still keep in touch on Facebook with lots of my ex-students,” she said. “Most troubled children just need someone to care.  Being an educator turned out to be the joy of life.”  

Humphreys’ friend Rosanna Leahy said, “Some people are born with a special ability to help kids. Cathy Humphreys is one of those special people. I had the honor of working with Cathy at Curtis Middle School for 10 years, including my first year as a teacher. She inspired me to never give up on our difficult kids. She celebrated kids when they were successful, advocated for them in times of trouble and loved them unconditionally, welcoming them each day with a smile that is almost as big as her heart.”

On July 28 Humphreys turned 70. Her friends from AISD celebrated with a car parade in front of her house.

“It was the most amazing thing. I felt so blessed,” she said.

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