Person of the Week
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Cindy Ellis

Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:21 PM EDT
Someone once said that without a sense of caring, there cannot be a sense of community.   

Recently our Person of the Week put that lesson into action.

She came up with an idea that has been embraced by her students and families.

Cindy Ellis is a math teacher, but she can also be counted on to teach a course in compassion.

They're bound for beauty at early college in Jackson County.

In classes where students can earn a high school diploma and associates degree at the same time.

To a degree, this may be their greatest lesson.

Students are finding that outward beauty's is really just a  means for what's more important, making someone feel beautiful inside.

Math teacher Cindy Ellis spearheads the project. 

It's a straight, hands on experience that doesn't always paint a pretty picture of life.

Cindy Ellis, teacher, "it gets them to see that there's more in life than whats in front of them.  That there's more beyond their little world."

It's learning that little things do matter, especially to those who have little opportunity to experience what they do.

At the Jackson County Rec. Center, those with special needs from all over the mountains, no matter their age, mingle and move with the early college students.

Scottie Hines, service provider, "interacting with them, eating and sitting down and talking to them.  It's heart-warming."

It's not a prom, but pretty close...36 year old Jason Hedrick, never had one.

Cynthia Lopez, student, "they're just like us. And it's just really neat to see them happy. Just to have this one thing."

It's not the differences it's the celebration and compassion that makes everyone the same.

Cindy Ellis works closely with another teacher, Gloria Painter at Southwestern Community College, to put the dance together.

They plan to make it an annual event.       Cindy Ellis

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