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Cast Spotlight: Kathleen Shea

I love kids and I’ve spent the vast majority of my life working with them. I started babysitting at 12, volunteering at camps at 13, working camps at 17, and became a teacher at 22. I’ve been teaching high school Social Studies for almost 20 years now, and I love it. I have the privilege of watching and cheering on teens as they take the leap into adulthood. It is rewarding, challenging, sometimes frustrating, but never dull.

I met my husband six years ago. He claims it was love at first sight for both of us. I’m not so sure about that, but we were married less than a year later. Now I’m the mother of four kids – ages 9,7,4 & 3 – three girls and one boy. Teaching full time and raising four kids is challenging, but totally worth it.

What do you love about Rochester?

I tend to feel a bit defensive about Rochester. I really love it here. I love snow and all kinds of winter sports – Nordic & alpine skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, running in fresh and falling snow. I love summer and swimming in the lakes, biking around the Finger Lakes, playing at the beach with my kids, walking and running the Canal path. I’ll admit to not really liking mud season – but at the end of it there is the Lilac Festival and LIVE MUSIC for months on end. We have great food, art and music – and we have great opportunities for kids to learn to enjoy those things too.

What brought you to LTYM?

I’ve always written things out when I needed to process and reflect on something. There’s something incredibly cathartic about getting it all down into words. Last year was an incredibly tough year for my family and I started composing essays in my head. I was too tired to actually write any of it out, but these essays were just fermenting in my head. I work with Monica Gebell and it is through her that I found out about LTYM. So I signed up to audition and the deadline forced me to put my words onto paper. Maybe now I’ll make writing the rest out a priority. . .

Random Cool Stuff about Me:

I started doing triathlons about 15 years ago. I saw a flyer at the YMCA for an intro class. Even though I did not own a bike, had never run a 5K and didn’t lap swim regularly, I decided to sign up. This decision totally changed my life. I’ve now run 3 marathons and countless half marathons. I’ve competed in sprint, Olympic and half iron distance triathlons. But even more importantly, I’ve met amazing people and discovered a lot about myself.

My husband and I share an enthusiasm for running and cycling. For our honeymoon, we embarked on an epic cycling adventure called QuadZilla Staged– 500 miles of cycling over 4 days. It was easily the physically hardest thing either of us had ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. We met great people, but also were able to spend a lot of time alone together talking as we cycled around these beautiful Finger Lakes.

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