After coaching four students to the state speech competition and helping direct — and clothe — nearly 80 students in the Adams Central spring musical, Cheryl Aubery is looking forward to a calm last few weeks as a full-time teacher.
That placid schedule won’t last forever, though.
Aubery, 55, is retiring in May after 22 years as an English and public speaking teacher at Adams Central — 32 years as a teacher altogether — to work full time on her new endeavor, owning the Costume Shoppe at 213 N. Lincoln Ave. For years, she has worked with area school districts providing costumes for theatrical productions.
In the fall, she outfitted actors in one-act plays from 15 different schools, plus Kearney High School’s musical. This spring, she provided the costumes for a handful of musicals, in addition to Adams Central’s “Joseph and the Amazing, Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
She expects a similar schedule to continue.
“So I know that I’ll be plenty busy not teaching,” she said.
She purchased the business two years ago from Laurene Andreason, who started the shop in 1972. The shop’s inventory, which included more than 1,000 costumes of all different styles, colors and sizes when Aubery purchased it, is “amazing, extensive and terrific,” Aubery said.
“Of course, I’ve added to it by making and creating some of my own,” she said.
Aubery has been sewing since she was 10 and making costumes her whole life.
“Once I purchased it and realized I would be within two years of retiring, it was just a good transitional phase,” she said. “I had never planned on retiring at 55, but when the Costume Shoppe fell into my lap I couldn’t turn it down.”
Since January, Aubery had speech practice just about every day after school unitl 5:30 p.m., followed by rehearsals for “Joseph” from 7 p.m. unitl after 10 p.m. Rehearsal often was followed with sewing past midnight.
Needless to say, she was not getting much sleep.