After more than 30 years of experience in child care and preschool programs, SCC alumna Cindy Christ took a leap of faith and found the “love of her life.”
That “love” is her job at Good Shepherd Church, where she has attended for nearly 20 years. Cindy has been the director of the Good Shepherd Little Lambs Child Development Center for the past two years and couldn’t be happier, she said.
“I’m a teacher by morning, director by afternoon,” she said. “I love being able to share my faith with the children and help them develop their spirituality.”
It was the 1960s children’s TV series “Romper Room” that inspired Cindy’s career as a preschool teacher. A few years after high school she began working at a privately owned preschool. That experience solidified her choice.
“I knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Cindy said. In 1979, she started a nine-year stint at KinderCare before moving on to United Services Early Childhood Center, where she worked until 2008.
She enrolled at SCC in the early 1990s when the college campus was being built. “I took regular and online classes at SCC,” she said. “And I would take semesters off every once in a while; I went at my own speed and I enjoyed that.
While at SCC, Cindy developed a close relationship with Linda Estes, SCC professor of child care and early education. “She is a wonderful teacher,” Cindy said. “She shared so many of her personal experiences, which I was able to learn from.”
Cindy graduated with an associate’s degree in early childhood education from SCC in 2004. Shortly after that, Linda asked her to be on the advisory committee for the child care and early education program at SCC. “I highly respect her [Linda] as my mentor and now my peer, even though it’s hard for me to call her Linda now,” Cindy said.
Cindy has high praises for the SCC Early Education program and its approach to hands-on learning. “The instructors are in touch and involved with the community, which helps when you’re looking for a job after you graduate,” she said. “SCC provides you with a well-rounded education and helps you understand your role in the field.”
And she’s not afraid to show her pride for SCC. “It’s my alma mater and the jewel of our community,” Cindy said. “I’m encouraging my daughter to take classes at SCC, too.”
Since graduating from SCC, Cindy has been working on her bachelor’s degree, and she’s taken classes at Lindenwood University and Central Methodist University. She hopes to graduate from Martin Luther College in Minnesota, because of its connection to her faith.
“I used to focus on other types of development and never gave spiritual development much thought,” she said. “But now I can see how important it is for children to have that in their lives, and it brings me so much joy.”