Mrs. Catherine Haney came to J. Frank Dobie in the fall of 1970 and remained for 34 years,
always with that big smile and sweet heart.
Cathy Haney loved history. And during her 34-year association with Dobie, she didn’t just teach it. She made it.
Haney joined the Dobie faculty in 1970, the school’s third year of existence. She retired in 2004 as one of the school’s most revered teachers. Indeed, her “learning lab” extended all the way to the Rose Garden of the White House, where, in 1992, Haney and the Academic Decathlon team she helped coach were greeted by President George H.W. Bush after winning the first of Dobie’s two Academic Decathlon national championships.
She served as head of Dobie’s Social Studies Department from 1978 until her retirement. Over that span, Haney supervised 82 different teachers and taught on two Dobie campuses.
A member of the Architectural Committee for the “new” Dobie, she delayed retirement for a year to allow her to teach on the campus she helped design.
At the old Dobie campus, she represented a kind of academic superstructure that brought distinction and honor to the school and the community.
Haney organized and moderated the annual faculty-student Prep Bowl match. She co-sponsored the Academic Quiz Bowl and the Texaco Star Academic Challenge. Moreover, she coached the Longhorns’ Academic Decathlon team for nine years. In 1992, co-coaching with Richard Golenko, she helped guide Dobie to the national title.
She stepped down from the Academic Decathlon after 1992 but continued to help tutor team members until her retirement from teaching. Golenko, who coached the Longhorns to another national title in 1996, was inducted into the Dobie Hall of Honor two years ago.
Even after her retirement, Haney remained deeply involved in Dobie-related activities. She helped organize the Trailmixers, a group of former Dobie administrators, teachers and staff members who meet each month for lunch. She compiled and distributed a monthly newsletter for the group. She was a driving force behind Pasadena Area Retired School Employees (PARSE) projects.
The news of her passing on Oct. 22, 2014, was met with great sadness by hundreds of her former students and colleagues across the Pasadena ISD.
A San Antonio native, Haney earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 1964 and her master’s degree in history from the University of Houston in 1993. She taught at South Houston Intermediate and Miller Intermediate before joining the Dobie staff in 1970.