Cindy (Yingst) Holderith graduated from NL in 1982. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a Certification in Biology (1986) and a Certification in Library Science (2016). She has taken many additional graduate courses in the education and science fields. Holderith taught middle school science at Northern Lebanon from 1987-2001, during which time she notes, “I feel like I learned as much being a teacher at NL as I did as a student. I was honored to teach in the community where I grew up.” Holderith later fell in love with Alaska and relocated there, teaching middle school science at Mears Middle School (which was, at the time, the largest middle school in Alaska, enrolling 800-1100 7th and 8th grade students). At Mears, Holderith developed an environmental program that allowed each 7th grade student to spend a day in a municipal, state or federal park. The students would spend part of their time volunteering in the park, another part of their day learning to use GPS and geocaching and another part of the day learning about the park they were visiting. This program benefitted from partnerships with Alaska Geographic, Alaska State Parks, Chugach National Forest and Anchorage Municipal Parks. This program received special recognition from the state of Alaska for its positive environmental education goals.
Holderith especially enjoyed working with students on research projects and became interested in library science. After completing a Master’s in Library Science program, she received a certification to be a school librarian, and in 2016 she accepted a librarian position at Bartlett HS in Anchorage. It is the second most diverse high school in the nation. Holderith enjoys assisting students and staff to enhance and support their learning, and she loves that the school colors are blue and gold! Although their mascot is the Golden Bear, not a Viking, Holderith thinks of NL as she puts on her blue and gold for Spirit Days.
Holderith currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband of 17 years, John; her 15-year-old son, Eli; and their two dogs, Joanie (a mini-husky) and Lilli (“the princess pug”). In her free time, Holderith likes to travel with her family inside and outside of Alaska. She looks forward to COVID getting under control so that they can move about more freely. Her personal hobbies are mostly art related; she enjoys working with fused glass to create functional and decorative items, and she makes beaded jewelry and takes classes to learn new techniques. Reading is another passion for Holderith, and she loves getting together with her book club. The things that Holderith most appreciated about NL were “the caring teachers and staff as both a student and a teacher. As a student, I enjoyed the sense of community that was at NL and participating in a variety of clubs and activities.” The following is Holderith’s advice for current NL students: Follow your passions. If you can find a way to make a living from the activities that bring you joy or satisfaction, you will never feel like you don't want to go to work. Keep learning: Life is more enjoyable if your brain is active. Learning doesn't have to be a subject in school. It can be learning to knit or kayak or changing the oil in your car. All learning is beneficial.