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Saint Ignatius High School

Committed to the Craft

Learn more about Cindy Reagan, a passionate Mathematics teacher, mother, and servant leader in this Front of the Class profile from the Fall 2022 issue of the Saint Ignatius Magazine.

Written by Angela O'Donnell

You may know that Cindy Reagan is a math teacher at Saint Ignatius High School. But you might be surprised to know that she has a degree in International Business and Japanese. Or that she earned her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree from John Carroll University while raising four young children. Or that she coached Wildcat tennis for 10 years. You might also be surprised to know that in 2005, she was diagnosed with cancer on three separate occasions. 

Anyone who knows Cindy knows how special she is. With a sense of humor, she openly shares stories of her life in the hopes that she can help connect with someone who may be going through something similar. At the heart of it all, she is an educator, drawing from her own personal experiences to help teach life lessons. 

“Things are less scary if you can talk about them,” Cindy says. A prime example of her commitment to teaching came during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“When you’re immunocompromised it is concerning,” Cindy says. “I took a lot of precautions, but I came to the conclusion that ‘I’ve done everything I can to be as safe as I can and now I’m going to live my life.’”

During the pandemic, her daughter worked in a COVID-19 unit and her hospital ran out of supplies. Cindy made it her mission to find a way to help. She reached out to her students’ families to request masks and was able to collect enough to ship them to her daughter’s hospital. She showed her students that even though returning to the classroom in the midst of a pandemic was no easy feat, her commitment to teaching never wavered. 

“What else would I do?” she says. “I can’t imagine not doing it.” She gives credit to school administration and her students who were willing to do things to help keep everyone safe. “Many people do not realize how expressive the students here are and it’s very nice to be on the receiving end of that.”

Cindy started teaching at Saint Ignatius in 2007. Since the time she entered the classroom, she also began moderating the group now known as the Ignatian Alliance. One tenet of the school’s mission statement is to nurture young men to be committed to work for peace and justice, and Cindy sees her role as moderator helping to fulfill that tenet. 

“The idea of justice at its core is what separates Saint Ignatius from most other schools,” Cindy says. “A student or faculty member can come to Ignatius and really end up learning how to be a more just human being through the examples of others and seeing where the commitment of the school really is.”

Another lesson Cindy teaches by her example is that being a Man for Others also applies to the person sitting next to you. She jokes that when you’re in a family, it’s sometimes hardest to get along with your family members. But that’s what she hopes to bring to her students-helping them recognize the humanity of all the peers whom they call their brothers. 

That sense of family extends to her department, too. “First of all, the Math department is the best department,” Cindy says. She comments on their strong sense of community and feels exceptionally lucky that everyone in the department genuinely likes working together. 

As for her hopes for the future, Cindy wants to be a part of building a really strong faculty community and to foster professional growth. She has been working with the school’s Director of Spirituality Program for Adults, Amy McKenna, to address challenges that new female faculty may face.

While some things about Cindy may be surprising, her passion for teaching the young men at Saint Ignatius is obvious. “I like the kids. They make me laugh!” Cindy says. “I love connecting with the alumni. When I hear from them via letters and emails, or when they come back as speakers for my classes, it’s great fun!”