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Your Neighbor: Meet Cindy Dietrich

By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier

Cindy Dietrich spent her early years growing up in a close-knit family in Williamsburg, Virginia. “Out of four sisters, I was the third so there was never a dull moment in our house,” reflects Dietrich.

Dietrich enjoyed her studies as a young child too. The studious student headed to George Mason University to get a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. Along her academic journey she also met her future husband, Jay. “We met at one of his fraternity parties through mutual friends,” remembers Dietrich. Cindy and Jay would wed right after they graduated from college. “Ironically, several of us in our group of mutual friends from that fraternity got married, and we remain close to this day,” mentions Dietrich.

The newlywed decided to get her teaching certification from Christopher Newport University so she could begin teaching middle school. “Having loved school myself, I was excited to teach middle school kids. They are independent enough where you don’t have to do the little things for them, but also appreciate your sarcasm. That age group just wants to be heard,” explains Dietrich.

Dietrich furthered her own education by getting her master’s degree in middle school education. “I was finishing up my student teacher’s training while I was pregnant with my oldest child, Jacob, who was born in 1985,” says Dietrich. “I decided to take a year off once he was born before I started teaching again. It was hectic being a new teacher and mom, but we made it work.” The Dietrichs had their second child, Evan, just three years later.

Jay and Cindy began their careers and family in Virginia. However, a job offer for Jay enticed them to relocate away from extended family down to the Winston-Salem area. “I began teaching down here too until 2012. During that time I was getting frustrated teaching in the public schools. I didn’t feel like I had a voice. I wasn’t feeling the joy I once did. We also adopted our daughter, Sarah.” The Dietrichs were not actively seeking to adopt, however a former student of Cindy’s approached her. “She was a young mom, who was also born to a single mom, as was her mother too,” says Dietrich. “We said yes knowing that God would lead us through it. Sarah has been such a blessing. She was two years old when we adopted her. It’s been an open adoption so she still has a relationship with her birth family and sees them often.”

Dietrich’s faith has inspired her to venture out in other ways that have also enhanced her life experiences. “This past September, I opened the Learning Loft at the Historic Broyhill Building in Clemmons. With COVID-19, I’ve taken on 25 students to help tutor and guide them with virtual learning. I found that both parents and kids needed resources to help them with learning in both middle and high school ages. I focus primarily on math because that’s my specialty. I’ve found that students find it to be a cozy place that’s not intimidating,” notes Dietrich. “I am going to possibly add additional specialists to help accommodate the needs of students and parents. I’m so excited to grow a business that helps serve students and their families. Part of what I loved most about being a teacher is giving students the confidence and tools they need to succeed. It matters how you make them feel in addition to what you teach them.”

When Dietrich is not helping families navigate their academic journey, she can be found reading books. “I read about one book a week in a variety of different topics,” says Dietrich. “I’m definitely a voracious reader.”

Dietrich also relishes in spending time with her family whether it’s at their church, River Oaks Community Church, cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers, or just getting to spend time as a family whenever it presents itself. “Once your children fly the nest, you just don’t get to see them as much. Our son, Jacob, is getting married this spring, and we’re all very excited about that,” Dietrich says.

Our neighbor reminds us of the importance of gratitude. As Charles Dickens once said, “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your misfortunes, of which all men have some.”