Everett principal Betty Cobbs served kids, community for 51 years

Education and community. Those words are the best America has to offer; that every child has the right to quality schools in strong, diverse communities.

But just because that right exists, we still need dedicated heroes to bring those spaces to life. Dr. Betty Cobbs, principal at Woodside Elementary School, is that hero. For half a century, Dr. Cobbs has served Washington’s children as a teacher and principal. After working in our public schools as a college intern, she returned and gave back to us all the commitment and love she has in her heart as a true public servant.

Dr. Cobbs broke barriers her whole life: the first black principal in the Everett Public Schools and later recognized as a Snohomish County “Woman of the Year.” Yet never for a second did she make her role about her own accomplishments. To her, it was always about students and families.

In an age when our smaller communities are losing too many bright young people to bigger cities, Dr. Cobbs gave us the gift of kind, constant service for 51 years and is beginning her well-earned retirement after this school year. She made school more than a place to be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., even more than a place to get an education — Dr. Cobbs made every school she touched a home to so many students who needed one. Through her presence and grace, Dr. Cobbs reminded us of the importance of community schooling. We are going to miss her very dearly.

John Lovick

Mill Creek

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