The Clinton County Retired Teachers Association bestowed the “Lifetime Educators Award” on Cynthia O’Neill of Carlyle at its Sept. 7 meeting in Trenton. Accompanying her at the presentation and meeting were her husband, Terry, and her sister, Suzie Hollenkamp.
O’Neill started her teaching career in 1972 at Carlyle Junior High School. She taught English from 1972 to 1994 and then became the Carlyle District’s gifted coordinator until 1997 when she retired. Along with teaching at Carlyle Junior High School she taught summer and night classes for Kaskaskia College.
Her many talents and concerns for quality education and educators lead her to be an IEA local unit treasurer, an IRTA Life Member, CCRTA member, CCRTA Region 16 Legislative Chair from 1995-1999, a lobbyist for health insurance and a TRS observer from 1997-1999.
O’Neill has served her community in many capacities. She was elected to the Clinton County Board in 1992 and served on the County Board until 2000. While on the board, she served in many capacities: chair of the Finance Board, chair of the Business Park and Business Loan Committee, chair of the New Courthouse Construction Committee, and chair of Health Services and Ambulance Districts Committee. She helped establish the Clinton County Health Department in 1995. She served as vice president of the County Board for two years.
Her community involvement and service extended to serving as a U.S. Bank Director in Carlyle, a charter member/past President of Carlyle’s junior Women’s Club and Founder/President of the Women’s Investment Club.
She was elected to the Teachers Retirement Service Board in 1999 and served four terms on the board (16 years) until June 20, 2015. During that time, she served eight years as vice chair of the investment committee and eight years as chair of the committee at TRS. As a member of the board, she initiated and helped establish the Audit Committee while watching over 40 billion dollars.