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ETN: Winner of October Teacher Tribute says every child has potential

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 3:41 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - East Texas Now Host Jeremy Butler spoke to Cinny Pike, the winner of KLTV’s October Teacher Tribute Friday afternoon.

Pike, who has been teaching for 27 years, is a life skills teacher at Henderson ISD’s Northside Intermediate campus. She created an annual Special Olympics event for all special education students in Rusk County.

“It is a huge honor. It was very unexpected,” Pike said during her ETN interview. “I don’t do this for the recognition. I don’t do it for the publicity. I do it because I love kids, and my heart really belongs to my life skills babies, those kids who have difficulties doing things in just their everyday lives.”

Pike added that she loves to see the big strides her students make as they become more independent.

Butler read a line from the nomination form and asked for her thoughts on that.

A teacher who commented on Pike’s nomination form said, “She believes and has proven every child has potential no matter how severe their disabilities are.”

“I think every kid has potential,” Pike said. “It’s just finding a way to reach their highest potential and that’s different for every kid, and my life skills students are no different. You just have to figure out what clicks with them, what motivates them, and what adaptations you need to make, so they can reach that potential.”

The nomination form stated that the most recent Special Olympics event Pike created had 200 students from 11 different school districts, along with 700 volunteers. Each year, the event is 100 percent funded by donations that Pike solicits personally.

The Special Olympics event is called the Sarah Murphy Field Day, and it is named after a Henderson ISD student who has since died.

According to the nomination form, Pike has been the life skills teacher at Northside Intermediate for 15 years.

“Cinny has a heart of gold and is an advocate for all students,” the nomination form stated. “Her classroom exemplifies the love and excitement she has for teaching.”

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