Name: Cynthia Pool
School and subjects taught: Payson High School, chemistry and Advanced Placement chemistry.
College degree and major: BS in chemical engineering, University of Maryland; MA in teaching, Towson University.
Years teaching: Eight years in Maryland schools, three years at Payson High School.
Why do you teach? The most important thing that we can do is to improve the lives of others. I enjoy showing students the opportunities that are available to them in science and technology.
Personal motto/words of wisdom: Be the best you can be.
Family: Husband, Roy, a retired high school science teacher; three sons, Joey (25), Jamie (24) and David (23). Joey is a student at the University of Arizona. Jamie and David attend school on the east coast.
Pet peeve: People who don't give 100 percent.
Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Running, biking, triathlon. I have run over 12 marathons, including the Boston Marathon four times. In 1998, I competed in the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in in Hawaii. Last year, I qualified for the World Duathlon Championships and won two road-biking state championships.
Person in history you'd most like to meet and why: Lance Armstrong. His athletic accomplishments have inspired me while I'm training for my own competitions (seven-time winner of the Tour de France), plus he's given many, many people hope through raising money and awareness for cancer research.
Why Payson? Our home is in Tonto Basin. My husband and I enjoy fishing, hiking and bird hunting.
In school, who was your favorite teacher and why? It's probably no surprise, but my favorite teacher was my high school chemistry teacher. I had never considered a science-related career, and he gave me the confidence to try it.
What was your favorite subject(s) in school and why? Math and science.