West Central principal retires after 32 years in education - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

West Central principal retires after 32 years in education

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MAYNARD (KWWL) -

An eastern Iowa school principal is stepping down, but not before an emotional send-off from students, friends, and teachers

Cathy Timmerman started as a kindergarten teacher and worked her way up to West Central's principal in Maynard. She worked for the school for 32 years. During that time she was diagnosed with Lupus and has been fighting the disease for 22 years. She never let the disease hold her back and after a successful career she is now retiring.

Principal Timmerman says choosing to retire was a tough decision, but she says it's the best time for her to retire and it's best for the school.

"Most people when they get up in the morning they say, 'oh I have to go to work,' I get up in the morning and say, 'yes I get to go to school'," said Principal Timmerman.

Principal Timmerman will walk the halls of West Central for the last time this week.

"Knowing that I am going to walk out the door and not walk back in as an administrator is difficult," said Principal Timmerman.

Principal Timmerman says she created dozens of memories in the school's halls and connected with all of her students. Her students say they are crushed to see her go.

"I feel like I didn't really realize she was leaving till now when we are all getting ready for it," said Payton Arndt, West Central 8th grader. "On Wednesday when she leaves we are thinking she is going to come back and she's not going to be here."

"She's just a great person and it's going to be really hard watching her leave," Isabelle Steinbromn, West Central 8th grader.

In the last 32 years as an educator Principal Timmerman's strength has never diminished.

"The doctor said, 'you have Lupus'," remembered Principal Timmerman. "He said, 'Lupus itself is not going to be the thing to destroy you, what it does to your organs will be what happens'. At that point in time I made up my mind it was not going to overcome me."

To the students, Principal Timmerman is a friend and a constant supporter.. To her family and her husband, she's much more.

"My husband teases me pretty regularly that I go into my walk-in closet at home in the morning and he knows I don't feel good, and he says, 'you put on your wonder woman cape and you get up and you go'," said Principal Timmerman.

Today, she said goodbye to the school she's called home for more than three decades.

"Like my dad said, 'people will want to tell you goodbye', so to have people here and come and wish me well it means a lot," said Principal Timmerman.

KWWL asked Principal Timmerman how she was feeling today and she told us she physically felt great, but she said even if she didn't feel well, she wouldn't tell us. Her family says she never tells them either.

Principal Timmerman says her last day at school will be Wednesday. Her students are planning a pep rally to say goodbye.

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