Not quite ready to “hang up my dry erase markers,” English teacher Cynthia Pryor won’t be wandering too far from the classroom, leaving to tutor students and teach other courses. She decided to retire after 15 years at FHS. Throughout the years she has lived by the motto, “Knowledge is meaningless if it’s not used in the service of the heart.”
Pryor earned her Bachelor of Arts in English, Education and Art at Longwood College. In addition, Pryor did her graduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, Loyola Marymount University and University of Virginia. Before teaching English, she worked in publication.
Pryor is retiring to take care of her mother. “I want to be more present at this stage of her life. Teaching has been my passion, but I need to give more of myself to my family,” said Pryor. Outside of spending time with family, she hopes to pursue art again.
For Pryor, the best thing about FHS is the students. “FHS students are good people! When you approach a door with your arms full, they step up,”said Pryor. She said she will miss the little things. “It’s funny, but I’ll miss I.D. badges, hallway passes, bells, dry erase markers, paper clips, copiers, white boards and a community of people who believe in the power of young people.”
Pryor says one of her favorite memories is when, “one day a former student appeared at my classroom door with a package and asked if he could read something to my students.” This individual, a current military personnel, shared a handwritten letter to her class about the value of what they were doing and encouraged them to be diligent. Afterwards, he presented to Pryor a gift of the American flag he had with him during his deployment.. “It is a moment I’ll never forget,” she said.
Pryor has valued her time at FHS and all the students she has had the opportunity to teach. Over the years she has “wanted my students to feel valued and empowered, to have the tools they needed to accomplish their goals in life.”