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Judith E. Cobb
Excellence in Education

For thirty-six years Judith E. Cobb taught English, Theatre and Communications at North Attleboro High School, while maintaining an active presence in local community theatre and other activities. To recognize her significant contributions to the study of theatre at NAHS, the school committee approved the naming of the HS theatre, which she helped design, in her honor in 2000. Today the Judith E. Cobb Theatre is home to a number of annual productions that showcase the varied talents of NAHS students.

Ms. Cobb joined the NAHS faculty in 1964 after graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She immediately immersed herself in the extracurricular culture of the school by chaperoning numerous dances as well as assisting with student council and the production of the yearbook and senior play. She also played in "some outrageous faculty/student softball and basketball games." However, Judy is best remembered for developing a full-year co-curricular theatre program, an undertaking that began with her becoming the Producer/Director of the "Senior Play," instituting a one-act play festival open to all students, directing and producing the first musical in NA schools, and forming the first NAHS Drama Club. Ms. Cobb also established the local chapter of the International Thespian Society.

In the classroom, the foundation of Judy's teaching was her belief in "the education of the whole person, academically, physically, artistically and verbally. All of these skills, learned, integrated and practiced produce well-rounded, functional people prepared for future challenges and opportunities." This philosophy was evident in her many contributions to the NAHS curriculum. With the assistance of the U. Mass-Amherst Speech Department, Ms. Cobb designed and implemented a required course in Public Communication for seniors, and eventually sophomores, that existed from the late 1960s until the early 1980s. The course is now a semester elective open to juniors and seniors, and communication remains a part of the sophomore curriculum. She also designed and implemented a Theatre curriculum, with the help of Superintendent William L. Kelly and Principal Lou Kelley, both past recipients of the Excellence in Education Award.

In 1968 the Business and Professional Women's Club awarded Ms. Cobb the title "Young Career Woman of the Year," in part for her work at NAHS, and invited her to represent Massachusetts at a national convention and seminar in Minnesota.

Judy served as a strong proponent of arts education throughout her career. With the consistent arts support of Superintendent Kelly, Ms. Cobb assisted Humanities Coordinator Victor Lister in a three-year Dance Residency Program in NA schools, and helped coordinate participation with the Attleboro schools for a fourth year. Also, she was one of a team of founders of the Southeastern Massachusetts Arts Collaborative (S.M.A.R.T.S.). Judy was one of the program's first teachers, and she served as Supt. Kelly's representative at area meetings. It was a fitting tribute when the Massachusetts Association of Arts Educators named Judith E. Cobb "Massachusetts Arts Educator of the Year" in 1987.

Ms. Cobb has maintained an active presence in a number of community endeavors throughout her career and into retirement. She served two terms as president of the Attleboro Community Theatre in addition to over 15 years as a board member, actor, designer and director. She has also served on the board of Celebrity Nights of the Attleboros; she was Young Career Coordinator for Massachusetts Business and Professional Women's Clubs for several years during the 1970s, and she was Assistant Troop Leader and Interim Senior Director of Plymouth Bay Girl Scouts.

Today Ms. Cobb is enjoying her retirement as a theatre advisor/assistant to current NAHS director Lisa Forsgard, and she is again serving on the Board at the Attleboro Community Theatre.