Early Years

Cindy and CMF

I can’t remember a time when Cindy didn’t want to be a teacher. From the time we were little girls, she would be the one standing at our chalkboard with a tiny piece of chalk in her hand, and I was always the one sitting behind the school room desk at our make shift school. As the years would move on, she did indeed become that amazingly wonderful, live-outside-the-box kind of teacher.

In 1986 she graduated Magna Cum Lauda with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College, now Queens University. She completed her student teaching in 12th grade English at Olympic High School, our alma-mater. From there, she taught 11th and 12th grade English at Gaston Day School, while completing her Masters of Education at Winthrop University in 1997.

But her dreams were much bigger than this! So, she went on to earn her PhD in Secondary English/English Literature at the University of South Carolina. She also successfully completed her well renowned dissertation titled, ‘The Influences of a Gender Equality Workshop and Other Contextual Variables on the Awareness, Attitudes, Understandings, and Teaching Practices of Two Student Interns’ in 2002. (A fitting topic as we had been raised by parents who afforded us the belief that, ‘Anything is Possible’, no matter your gender!)

Cindy would go on to become a professor of English Literature at Winthrop University, where she was loved by her students and held in high esteem by her colleagues. She changed the dynamics of the normal classroom by allowing and encouraging children of all ages, races and genders to love themselves, color outside the lines, dream the unimaginable, reach for the unreachable, and enjoy the ride along the way.

She had a way of making everyone feel and believe that nothing was impossible, and that they could be anything they wanted to be.

Her spirit, laugh and love of life were contagious and one could not help but want to be around her! She changed the world for the better one child at a time. In her memory, this foundation was created to continue that legacy. May we, as the CindyMackie Foundation, continue to strive to fulfill her love, her passion, and her dreams!

- Sharon Furr

"You can be anything you want to be."