Cindy Asay has lived all over the Big Horn Basin, beginning in Cody. She went to school in Powell, Byron, Deaver, Frannie and finally Lovell, where she graduated from high school.
Asay attended Northwest Community College in Powell for a year before getting married and starting a family. She had two boys before returning to NWCC, earning an associate degree in elementary education. She also worked in the darkroom and as a designer at the Lovell Chronicle for many years.
She was a student in the first class to graduate from the University of Wyoming Outreach Program with a Bachelor of Arts in education. She continued her education with Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass., through a study available in Worland. One weekend a month Asay traveled to Worland for Friday, Saturday and Sunday classes. Each class was completed in two months time. After 22 intense months she received a Master of Arts in technology education in 2003.
“I got everything (toward her degrees) and never left the Basin,” she said. “It was easy. I didn’t have to leave my family. That’s what made it easy.”
That was not the complete story, however, for she was also working full-time as the computer technician for all three Lovell schools.
“At that time each school was a completely separate network. Not until TCT put the fiber optics in Lovell were all three schools on the same network district wide. I was in on all that change,” she said. “With that advancement we began to broadcast all the school events on TV and the internet. I travelled all over the state with my “crew” filming games and tournaments.”
In the fall of 2004 Doug Haugenoe retired, creating the opportunity for Asay to fill his position at Lovell High School teaching digital imaging, broadcasting, journalism production and yearbook. Four years ago an eighth-grade class was added to her schedule.
“Technology changes and evolves so much; classes have to change. What I taught as an introduction course to sophomores I am now teaching to eighth graders. They are growing up with technology. Instead of waiting until they’re old enough to work on a computer, they grow up with it in their hands. They need more knowledge to enter high school level studies. Because the world changes so much, technology has to change, as well,” Asay explained.
Because technology is such a hands-on subject, the most enjoyable part has been helping the students apply what they learn in the classroom, she said.
“Doing the things with the kids that wasn’t just the classroom stuff has been most enjoyable,” Asay said. “There’s more than just the content. What’s important is being able to take that knowledge out and apply it in the real world. I enjoyed it when we filmed all the football and basketball games. Taking pictures at homecoming and field trips to the mountain to photograph was lots of fun. Kids won’t remember the assignment on page 15, but they remember the things they got to do.
“Seeing the kids take what they’ve learned and use it, whether it’s freelance or on a full-time job, is very rewarding. One former student told me concerning his job, ‘Everything we do I learned in your classes.’ That’s what it’s about, students succeeding in the work environment.”
Asay reflected on her 21-year career of teaching in Lovell.
“Memories,” she paused. “There’s been so many, so many fun times, and those certain kids. I love being friends with former students, as I am now teaching their children. You get that in small communities, when it loops back around. That’s how you develop long-term relationships with families.
“I’ll always remember SkillsUSA that I co-sponsored with Bret George for more than 10 years. It’s fun to watch the kids win when they’re competing. I was yearbook and senior class sponsor for 15 years. I won’t forget the all-night paintball parties and all the proms. And there’s the chili and cinnamon roll dinner that was more than a fundraiser. It became a town tradition. Last year we served more than 800 cinnamon rolls.”
Now Asay is going to run her store, Wild Edge, and “spend more time with the grandkids,” she said.
BY TERESSA ENNIS