Cynthia is our only daughter.
Our two sons frequently accused her parents of showing favoritism to the youngest of our family. I must admit, for me there is a bit of truth to their assertion, which I suppose happens more often than not in a family such as ours.
Although I could say much about her early childhood, I will start this story when we moved to Tulsa in 1981. Cynthia was 15 that year.
Phyllis and I decided to leave the military life for a variety of reasons. Our first priority after we settled in Tulsa was to join a local church and be active. We did both.
Phyllis and I were saved at an early age, however we had not been faithful for many years. Our oldest child, Rick, had been saved earlier at church camp. Randy and Cynthia were saved a few weeks after we joined a small Baptist church on the west side of Tulsa. Praise the Lord for His unlimited Grace.
To leave the military and move to Tulsa was one of the wisest decision that Phyllis and I have made 61+ years of marriage.
The move was especially good for Cynthia. She joined the Webster High School Marching Band and enjoyed her high school friends.
I think most people reach a few seminal points in life where decisions they make have unforeseen and far reaching consequences. For example: accepting Christ as Lord and savior, choosing a life-long mate, and for my family, cutting short my military career.
One such moment occurred in the summer of 1982. Cynthia was teaching a Sunday School class in a small room. Her class had grown from 5-6 students to 25-30 young girls. Chairs had to be removed to permit standing room for her growing class. One of my duties each Sunday morning was to check on each class to see if all teachers were present and if any needed help.
As I peeked in on Cynthia’s class, I was taken aback as I watched the girls mesmerized by the teachers’ story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. I too, was caught up in the story and no one noticed as I stepped inside to listen and learn. It was clear that the Holy Spirit was at work.
I knew at that moment that she was a teacher with a profound God given talent. After class I told her so. At that moment I think she decided to become a Christian School Teacher.
A few years later our family moved to Springfield, Mo where Cynthia attended Baptist Bible College and became an outstanding teacher
I would be remiss if I didn’t say a few words about the mother/daughter bond that developed into something special.
During her childhood years the two were almost inseparable. Even so much so that after dates when she was a teenager, Cynthia would come to our bedroom, sit on the edge of the bed and talk incessantly. After a bit of listening I would drift off to sleep only to be awakening an hour later by laughter and more talk.
That bond strengthened over the next several years as Cynthia married and had three wonderful children. During this period of time Cynthia continued her teaching profession, obtaining a masters and ultimate a PHD in her chosen field of education dealing with the transition from high school to college with a focus on community colleges. Helping young people succeed in school became her mission in life.
Cynthia’s tenure at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo formed the basic building blocks of her success as a pioneer in the field of student success. Presently she is the Vice President and Executive Director of the Texas Association of Community College’s Success Center.
Mainly, she works with trustees and regents of governing boards, and chancellors and presidents of the 50 Texas community colleges to implement changes in policies and procedures focused on student success.
Cynthia works with Texas State Legislators and Cabinet Level Administrators aimed at improving state and local policies. She also serves a national leadership role in strategic planning and support for a network of 14 other states promoting the Texas model of success.
Because of her success she is well know by college presidents, wealthy donors, local and national leaders who are interested in success of community college students. Cynthia’s work has generated millions of dollars in grants given for the specific purpose of implementing her educational models.
Recently Cynthia gave a seminar in Houston, TX and was the main speaker for a gathering of 450 Presidents, Board Members and other community college leaders. Her services are sought after because of her reputation for results.
By any measure God has blessed her exceedingly.