Photo Credit: Grace Moore

Attendance clerk Cathy Robinson catches up on check-ins for the day. Robinson turned in her retirement papers in January after 24 years in the school system.

School Favorite Retires at the End of the School Year

Right in front of the double doors and next to the lunchroom, the attendance office is home to the one and only, attendance office clerk Cathy Robinson. 

For the past 24 years Robinson has worked at Sparkman after spending three years at Monrovia. 

Her responsibilities include a lot more than just taking attendance and giving out tardy passes. She answers all calls and emails concerning attendance, enters virtual student absences, buzzes in students at the back entrance and a number of other duties.

Robinson comes in contact with hundreds of students a day, always with a smiling face and a warm heart. Many students enjoy going to turn in an absence excuse just so they get to see Robinson sitting behind her desk.

“I hope my impact on Sparkman will be one of a loyal and diligent employee who truly cares about every student and employee here,” Robinson said. “I hope I have helped someone somehow everyday I was here.”

After 27 years with the Madison County Board of Education, Robinson will be retiring at the end of this year. She had not planned to retire until this school year when COVID-19 impacted the school and especially her.

“We lost a clerical aid unit at the end of last school year and that left me in the attendance office by myself to still do the same duties and work plus the addition of the remote students, we are not getting this unit back for next school year either,” Robinson said. “This was not the fault of anyone, it is just the way it happened. After my husband and I had COVID-19 back in December I started to realize it was time to retire and come home after 27 years. I made up my mind that I was ready.”

Robinson is likely to be missed by every teacher and student ever to roam the halls but they all know her kindness has made an impact on just about everyone to know her.

With only a couple weeks left of school, Robinson is preparing to pack up her stuff one last time at the end of the year. Robinson hopes to spend time with her family as much as possible, she loves her grandchildren and can not wait to be available for them as much as possible.

“When June 1 comes I just want to come home and rest first. My husband and I plan to do some cleaning and remodeling work on our house,” Robinson said. “We also want to do some traveling while we are both still healthy and able. I also want to enjoy and love my grandkids and be a Nana as much as I can, whenever I can.”

She knows how much she loves this school but does not truly know the love this school has for her.

“I believe I have built my piece of the Sparkman community with a good strong work ethic and a strong love and loyalty to Sparkman High School,” Robinson said. “I love being a Sparkman Senator.”

While Robinson is ready for the change in scenery of those double doors, she will forever miss the people she has become to know and love over her time at the school.

“I love everything about my job but I truly love my daily interactions with all of the students each day. I try to say hello and call the students by their first names with a smile. I believe that helps establish a certain trust with them and makes them and me feel good about ourselves,” Robinson said. “I am ready to retire but I am also incredibly sad to leave a place I have loved and been a family member of for so long.”


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