A Hoosier with a Motto, “Do as Much as I Can for as Long as I Can” Cindy S. Retired Teacher
Cindy, a life-long Hoosier, taught special education in South Bend for 37 years, mostly at the middle school level.
“My mom was a first-grade teacher, and it was her inspiration that sent me into the classroom,” Cindy said. “She always stressed to me that it was important to put the other person first and help others as much as I possibly could, so that's what I've tried to do all my life.”
Cindy did exactly that for all her students over the span of her long career. And while there’s no doubt students loved Cindy, her peers also had great respect for her.
“I was nominated Teacher of the Year from three different schools, so that was quite an honor,” Cindy said.
She also remembered the time a student wrote a letter about her for a contest the local news was sponsoring about teachers who made a difference. “The student and the news crew surprised me at school and interviewed me. I had no idea this was going to happen,” Cindy said. “Just knowing that I made an impact on so many lives is very satisfying.”
As she looked back at her life of teaching, Cindy said, “I’ve won some awards and they’re great and very important to me, but what’s most important is knowing I’ve been able to help so many people.”
Cindy’s good deeds don’t end in the classroom. Throughout her life, she’s found ways to provide service to others.
Currently, Cindy helps take care of a girl who has a serious illness. “It was shortly after I retired. I saw a news story about her and knew I had to do something,” Cindy said. “I connected with the family and just asked how I could serve them. It’s been 12 years and we spent a lot of time together. We celebrate her life by having a themed party for her every month. We are like best friends.”
Cindy also teaches crafts to people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at Milton Adult Day Services, and volunteers at the St. Joseph Hospital Breast Care Center. She’s on the board of directors of her condo association and is very involved in Gleaners, a philanthropic insurance society. Cindy’s also on the board of St. Joseph County retired educators and keeps track of all the volunteer hours the group performs each year. She’s also very involved in local Alzheimer’s walks and fundraising for the local fire and police departments.
Since retiring, Cindy has put in more than 20,000 hours of volunteer time. “I always thought the older I got, the more time I would have, but I think the older I get, the less time I have,” she laughed.
When Cindy has free time, she loves traveling. She enjoys visiting her family in Arizona and Colorado and seeing her friends in Florida and Myrtle Beach. Cindy also loves the color purple and wears it as often as possible. It’s her special way of honoring her mom’s favorite color. She also enjoys connecting with people through her card ministry. “I like to design my own cards and send them out to people with words of encouragement,” Cindy said.
Cindy has spent her life serving others and making her slice of Indiana a better place. “My motto is that it's important for me to do as much as I can for as long as I can for as many people as I can,” Cindy said.
The Hoosier Lottery would like to thank Cindy and all the other teachers who make a huge difference in the lives of so many, each and every day.