Cuero principal begins retirement
May 30, 2014 at 12:30 a.m.
Here's a look at retiring Cuero High School Principal Michael Cavanaugh's career.
• 1967 - Cavanaugh graduates from Texas Tech University, where he was commissioned to join the U.S. Army through the campus' ROTC program. In November, he reported to Fort Benning to serve as a second lieutenant of an infantry unit.
• 1970 - Learns to fly airplanes recreationally.
• 1993 - Retires from the U.S. Army after 26 years of service. He started teaching at Nolan Middle School in Killeen soon after.
• 2010 - Voted Best Principal by Victoria Advocate readers as part of the annual "Best of the Best" contest.
• 2013 - Helped usher in the start of a new technological era at Cuero High School with the assignment of iPads to students and teachers.
• 2014 - Retired from Cuero High School after 20 years in education.
SOURCE: Michael Cavanaugh
CUERO - If something needs fixing, Michael Cavanaugh is the man to do it.
Or at least that's what his current secretary, Sheila Brandt, expressed about the Cuero High School principal at a retirement party earlier this week.
“You’re the greatest, and I love you,” said Sheila Brandt, his secretary, in front of a weepy crowd of campus employees and students.
Green balloons covered the ceiling of the campus library.
The reception was an emotional event for students and staff, who bid adieu to their campus principal, lead teacher Linda Colman and biology teacher Art Bowers, who are retiring this spring.
Cavanaugh, a U.S. Army veteran, has served as principal at Cuero High for the last nine years.
Colman, who has taught at Cuero High for the past 26 years, was the lead teacher for all departments in the high school.
"I'll miss the kids and fine people that I've worked with at Cuero High School," Colman said.
Bowers, who has been at Cuero High the longest, started his career as a Gobbler in 1969.
"I'm going to miss the day-to-day changes that came with the job," Bowers said. "They say you get bored teaching, but it's totally different each year; I never did get bored."
Cavanaugh was presented with a new iPad with "It's a great day to be a Gobbler" engraved on the back.
"I'm speechless and overwhelmed," Cavanaugh said. "Thanks to every single one of you."
Each of the retiring educators were presented with customized rocking chairs - a Cuero tradition started by Cavanaugh years ago.
Former secretary Caraleen Flessner, who retired last year, said one day, a parent thought Cavanaugh was the campus gardener because she saw him watering the plants outside.
"Nothing was below him," Flessner said. "He was just watering the grass because someone had to do it."
While he enjoyed his time as principal, the administrative position came as a surprise.
"I did not anticipate becoming a principal," Cavanaugh said. "I actually swore I wouldn't do that."
As a gift to himself, Cavanaugh taught a math class for three weeks.
He co-taught with one of the high school's teachers and shared his aviation math skills with students.
"I got to be back in the classroom one last time," Cavanaugh said.
To see a video of students and staff saying good-bye, click here.