Inside Scoop: Cathy O’Bee

Bree Soule, Online Editor-in-Chief

Building substitute teacher Cathy O’Bee grew up in a small farming town in Ontario, Canada. There she worked on the farm and, during the summer, taught swimming lessons. In high school, O’Bee participated on a curling team. 

“Curling is a fun sport,” O’Bee said. “It requires strategy to play. It was good in high school as it is a team sport. I always played the third position which is usually to clear the stones so your last player can get the best scoring position.”

O’Bee went to high school for five years as is traditional in Canada instead of the typical four years in the U.S. She graduated after grade 13 and attended the University of Windsor, eventually earning her degree in Animal/Veterinary Science. 

“I grew up around animals and I like science and medicine,” O’Bee said. “I am comfortable handling animals, and solving the mystery of whatever problems arise.”

O’Bee worked in this field for 14 years prior to moving to the U.S where her husband was transferred. 

O’Bee now has a career at Fenton High as a substitute teacher and she drives a school bus. She has been with Fenton schools for approximately 16 years. 

O’Bee has a second job through Southern Lakes Parks and Recreation (SLPR). There she is in charge of the Instructional Swim program held at the Fenton High pool in which she teaches swim skills to people ages six months to adulthood. 

“I like my job at SLPR,” O’Bee said, “because swimming is a life skill everyone should know, and I enjoy working with people of all ages.”  

Outside of her careers, O’Bee likes to make quilts and embroidery; however, her favorite and most passionate hobby is her cats: Nyha, Zuri and Whiskey (who is in charge of “rodent patrol.”)

“I am the crazy cat lady,” O’Bee said. “I have two purebred cats— a Maine Coon, a Ragdoll and my hunter tabby cat.”

As an adult, O’Bee used to be a synchronized ice skater, winning eight national medals, five of which are gold.

“This is 12-20 people on the ice, attached at the shoulder and making formations on the ice like a band does on the football field,” O’Bee said. “This is a fun sport, but difficult as all of the team must execute the movements in complete synchronization, even down to all the clothing, matching etc.”

O’Bee has been married for 38 years and has two children, a daughter and a son— each of which have grown up and gotten careers of their own. 

“Family is very important,” O’Bee said. “It is difficult to connect with some of the family because of COVID closing the border to travel back to Canada. I don’t see my daughter as often as I would like— she is a teacher in Florida. My son is here so I see him frequently.”

When the borders open back up and the COVID crisis comes to an end, O’Bee looks forward to being able to see her family again.