Reading teacher Cindy DeBlose turns a page
After a teaching career spanning three decades, Ranchos resident Cindy DeBlose is hanging up her hat and embracing retirement.
“I don’t feel retired yet; this is just summer break!” she says with a laugh. “There are still a couple more weeks until the retirement is official.”
For DeBlose, the draw to teaching seemed a natural one from early on. “I always loved kids, even as a child. I was especially drawn to younger children, and I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to go into teaching.”
Her own childhood was spent in Iowa and Minnesota. She attended Northern State College in South Dakota, where both her parents were from, and earned her Bachelors degree. She found a job teaching in a “very small” South Dakota town.
Summers were spent in Tahoe working at resort casinos, and her love of the Eastern Sierras was born. “As [casino] employees, we were treated very well, and working in Tahoe was so much fun,” she recalls.
So much so, that she left her first teaching job and moved to Tahoe for a year and a half, working double duty in the casinos at night and a teaching aide at Myers Elementary in the day. It was during this time that she first met her husband, Doug.
In spite of the fun and the new relationship, DeBlose missed her family and classroom teaching, so she took a “scenic, cross country route back to South Dakota,” zigzagging through areas that included Key West and Niagara Falls. Doug followed her six months later, but after a year convinced her that Tahoe was truly home.
Both returned to jobs in the casinos, and the couple married in 1981. Their daughter, Lindsey, was born 1985. In 1987, the family made the move down to the Carson Valley; their home was within walking distance to Scarselli Elementary.
“I remember hearing the school bells throughout the day,” DeBlose said.
Occasionally, she would substitute teach. When Lindsey was ready to start kindergarten, DeBlose once again felt the call to return to the classroom.
She had been subbing for a teacher who was out on medical leave. “One week turned into two weeks,” she said, and tapping her experience in classroom planning and management “triggered the desire to teach again.”
The transition back to teaching began with a half time kindergarten position at Scarselli. DeBlose taught kindergarten for five years before taking on a full-time position in first grade. She taught first and second grades for the next six years, then assumed the school’s reading teacher position and remained there for the duration of her career.
In 2002, DeBlose enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Nevada, Reno and obtained a master’s degree in Literacy Studies.
“I loved classroom teaching, but I felt a special affinity for the reading teacher position,” she said. “You’re with a group of 5 or 6 kids and you can really listen to them and give 100 percent to meeting their specific needs.”
All 26 years of her Douglas County teaching career were spent at Scarselli, and living in the same town where she worked keeps her in close proximity to many students she taught.
“It’s always such a thrill to see your former students working in the community and see them doing well. Sometimes it’s kids you have worried about, and finding out how well they’ve done in life later on, those are always nice moments.”
Retirement has rekindled DeBlose’s wandering heart and her wish to travel. “I want to go everywhere!” she said. Once her husband retires, they plan to journey throughout the US, including trips to Las Vegas to visit daughter Lindsey and her family. She’s also looking forward to her two grandchildren “coming for more visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.”
Congratulations on your retirement, Mrs. DeBlose.
Amy Roby can be reached at email@example.com.