Those of you who regularly read these articles in the church newsletter know that we usually like to “start at the beginning”.  But with Ken & Cindy Garwick we are going to begin at the end, and end with the beginning, and get to know them a little better through a series of their various and fascinating activities and achievements in between.  As most of you know, both Ken & Cindy are now retired from teaching in School District 383 - Ken in June of 2007 and Cindy in June of 2008.  Although retired, they are still teaching as substitutes in USD 383.  Ken also works with Kansas State, teaching Block A students in science; Cindy is a consultant with 383 working with the Ogden teachers.  Both are consultants for Delta Education, holding workshops helping teachers to become better teachers.  Both Ken & Cindy knew teaching was to be their vocation from the beginning, and they began their journey at the University of Minnesota.  Ken’s interest was in Special Education, Cindy’s was in Elementary Education.  Since Minnesota had not yet developed a Special Education Program, they looked for other possibilities for training.  About a year earlier, Ken’s parents, John & Ginger, had moved to Manhattan where John took a job with the Manhattan VoTech School.  Kansas State had a good Special Ed curriculum so Ken and Cindy came down to look around.  They liked the university and decided to move to Manhattan in 1974 to continue their studies. That all sounds pretty simple.  However, at the time, Cindy was also healing from a serious injury.  The only transportation they had in Minneapolis was a motorcycle and one day while both of them were riding to school, they were separated from the motorcycle, seriously injured, resulting in Cindy’s being confined to a body cast for seven months!  


After graduating from KSU in 1976, Ken took a job in the Geary County School system teaching sixth grade and special education at Ft. Riley for 11 years, and Cindy spent a year with an with an advertising agency in Manhattan, and then taught at Ft. Riley for the next 6 years.  She later transferred to USD 383 and taught at Eugene Field, Bluemont, and Northview for the next 25 years.  After 11 years at Ft. Riley, Ken transferred to USD 383 teaching fifth, & sixth grade at Ogden for two years before transferring to Marlatt Elementary.  Whew!


Ken and Cindy have two beautiful daughters, Kim & Beth.  Kim, an optometrist, lives in Kansas City and has started a family of her own (yes, Ken & Cindy are grandparents), and Beth, a doctor in physical therapy, practices in Birmingham, AL. 


During their stellar teaching careers, Cindy & Ken became Nationally Board Certified and Ken was selected as a Master Teacher in 2005, an award presented by Emporia State University to outstanding Kansas Teachers.   As you can tell, for Ken & Cindy, teaching and education have been their lives.  Along with all the hard work and daily grind of classroom instruction, this profession has also brought many wonderful opportunities.  Sponsored by the Fulbright Foundation they traveled to Japan. They attended a math      

conference in Denmark and have been to Russia twice as educators. Traveling is now in their blood!  They’ve visited seven European countries and most recently were in Paraguay.  While there, they saw on the door of a church a red chalice.  Although in a foreign country and not knowing the language very well, they decided to attend the service the next day at this DOC church.  The “rest of the story” is nothing short of miraculous.  God has a way of blessing those who believe and are good servants.  You must ask them to share the rest of the story with you.  You will hear a fascinating story of how God has a hand in bringing His children together and making the world a small place.


Ken & Cindy joined First Christian in 1974 and wasted no time in becoming involved.  Ken has sung in our choir now for almost 35 years!  Cindy began teaching ninth grade Sunday School and then taught the three-year-old class and first and second graders.  Together they led the JYF and Chi Rho groups for several years.  Cindy is very active with the Russell Group.  Both have been Deacons, currently serve as Elders, and they both serve on the Outreach Ministry Team.  When you see the red chalice highlighted outside and inside our Sanctuary, this is the effort initiated by Ken and Cindy.  And if you find out “the rest of the story” mentioned previously, you will know why they have made this special effort in our church.


Now back to the beginning of the story.  Ken & Cindy met at a DOC church camp.  They were in 6th grade.  Although they attended different schools, meeting at church camp eventually progressed into Friday night dates by the time they were sophomores.  Both sets of parents were active in their respective DOC churches, and the youth groups of both churches often had activities together on Sunday evenings.  Ken & Cindy have kept the legacy of their parents and their experiences of Sunday School and youth groups and have passed them on to their children as well.  When Cindy sits in the pew on Sunday mornings, she knows that her parents are also in their church, that John & Ginger are worshipping in their church, and both Kim (and Lehi and Chloe) and Beth are in church all at the same time, worshipping in Christian churches, praising God and accepting all the blessings of home and family that only God can give.  Life is good and complete with Ken & Cindy, and we are so grateful for all they give and offer to our church family!