ZEPHYR — Growing up in the small West Texas town of McAdoo, Cindy Timms was inspired by a high school science teacher to become a teacher herself.

“She made learning fun,” Timms said in her Zephyr Elementary School classroom, where she teaches fourth- and fifth-grade English language arts and reading. “She had a great personality. She was real bubbly. You enjoyed going there. She just had lessons you enjoyed learning.”

Timms is in her 26th year in education including four years in Zephyr.

Timms attended Texas Tech University and previously taught in Slaton, Jim Ned and Brady before coming to Zephyr. While teaching in Jim Ned, Timms obtained a master’s degree in gifted and talented education from Hardin-Simmons University.

Timms and her husband, Joel, were familiar with Brown County because Joel Timms had relatives who owned property at Lake Brownwood.

“We moved out to the lake,” Timms said. “It’s where we’ve always wanted to be. We’ve always come to Lake Brownwood all throughout our marriage and had great memories, and wanted to try to make this our retirement forever place.”

A teaching job in Zephyr opened up, and Timms taught math and science for her first three years.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” Timms said of her teaching career. “Watching the kids learn, and the little twinkle in their eye — hopefully I inspired them like I was inspired.”

Timms likes to see when her students “finally understand something — they either tell you or you can see it in their performance, they understand, they make connections,” Timms said.

She said likes to see them understand that what they learn in the classroom isn’t just for a grade, but serves a purpose outside the classroom.

“I like to see when the kids make connections — ‘oh this is why we’re doing this,’” Timms said. “There is relevance.

“They know that I care about them, and I’m here to help them along the way.”