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Award-winning drama teacher says bye bye

Drama teacher Cindy Baker helping a student prepare for the performance at the National Thespian Festival.


After 21 years of bringing theater to life for Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) students, drama teacher Cindy Baker is retiring this month. In April, the final curtain fell on Cindy’s last (and apropos) production, Bye Bye Birdie. With a deep love for theater that led to many award-winning plays and helped many students become great actors and behind-the-scenes experts, Cindy’s retirement is a big change for the performing arts department at RCHS. Cindy has been the drama teacher since RCHS opened its doors in 2003.

Cindy was born in southern California and from a young age knew her calling was in education. It was during high school that she recognized the transformative power of theater. Attending Cal State Fullerton, Cindy then pursued a career as a drama teacher where she clocked in a total of 38 years in the classroom. Cindy taught at Whittier High School and Ontario High School in California before moving to Colorado in 1998. She was a drama teacher at Highlands Ranch High School and Smoky Hill High School before landing at RCHS.

Cindy created a supportive learning environment at RCHS, which allowed students to take on leadership roles and explore new aspects of theater. Her drama department brought state and national recognition for many students and their performances.

“Back when I was a new teacher at RCHS, our scenes made it to the main stage at the California State Thespian Festival,” Cindy remembered. The performances of Newsies at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver and The Women of Lockerbie at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln were both selected for the International Thespian Festival. A memorable moment in Cindy’s career was RCHS’s near win at the Bobby G Awards (a Colorado state contest) which was canceled due to the pandemic.

Remembering the standout moments behind-the-scenes, Cindy said, “Our biggest achievements in set design included a pyramid, a castle with a drawbridge, and a two-story, spinning set.”

For Cindy, the true reward came from witnessing the success of all of her students at the Colorado State Thespians conferences over the years. “That is what I’m most proud of,” she reflected.

As the last of day of classes approaches, Cindy shared her mixed feelings: “I’m excited to take it easy, but it is hard to say goodbye to teaching.”

Moving forward, Cindy is excited to enjoy plays as an audience member, staying connected to RCHS and the legacy she helped create.


Rock Canyon High School’s production of Bye Bye Birdie, shines in this scene during the April performance. This was the last show for retiring drama teacher Cindy Baker who has been at RCHS for 21 years.


By Dani Salas; photos courtesy of Tom Maynor and Alan Treibitz



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