Cindy Humphrey follows dream of becoming a teacher

By Kellie Matherly
November 1, 2023

Tribal member Cindy Humphrey knew she was destined to be a teacher when she was a little girl playing school with her dolls and stuffed animals. As an adult, she put that dream aside to focus on other pursuits, but she always felt the call of the classroom. In 2019, she achieved her goal to finish her degree in education by the time she turned 50.

The road to teaching was a winding one for Humphrey. She spent years doing tax preparation and other jobs before she decided to look for work in the school system. Without a teaching license, her options were limited, but Humphrey was determined to do what she could to make her dream a reality. For years, she worked in the cafeteria and on the custodial team when she could, but it was her work as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher that inspired her to go back to school to be a full-time teacher.

The decision to finish her bachelor’s degree at age 47 was tough, but with the support of her family and a lot of hard work, Humphrey graduated from Texas A&M – Texarkana in 2019. Now, she uses her story as an example for her special needs students.

She often tells them, “You may have some bumps in the road or setbacks, but it doesn’t mean you can’t reach your goals.”

Shortly after she finished her bachelor’s degree, Humphrey went back to school to get her master’s. She has now had her own classroom for five years, working with students in grades five through eight who need extra help with academic subjects. For her, the special education classroom offers much more freedom to meet students where they are and help them.

Humphrey wants everyone to understand that it’s never too late to chase your childhood dreams.

“I want people to know that they should never stop believing and striving to attain their goals, no matter their age or obstacles,” Humphrey said. “I took longer in my educational journey, and look at me now!”