For Al Cinnamon the journey to retirement seems short. The conclusion of the school year brings with it the end of the local minister’s leadership with the Christian Education Release Time program that has been a part of Emmett High student life for the past twenty-five years.
Cinnamon has been there every step of the way. As one of the founders who envisioned the school offerings in 1992, Cinnamon taught classes that began in a home close to the high school in 1994. He has been in a building adjacent to the EHS since 1996.
Christian Education Release Time offers students an opportunity to use one of their elective hours to participate in a bible study. The hour does not qualify for a graduation requirement but serves as a supplement to the electing students overall educational experience.
Over the pass 25 years Cinnamon has seen over 600 students participate in the program supported by eleven churches in the Emmett area.
While the program presents an ecumenical christian course of study Cinnamon leads his students in a discussion of differences between denominational viewpoints. Those discussions and the personal relationships developed are what he will miss the most moving forward.
“It is going to be hard not to have that daily involvement in the life of these kids,” Cinnamon said. “There have been a lot of laughs and a lot of tears shared over the years. Teaching the word of God and living the word of God brings about a depth in relationships often beyond which words can express.”
An open house retirement party for Cinnamon will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, June 14 at the CERT building next to the EHS campus. All former CERT students and program supporters are encouraged to attend.
Cinnamon reports that his replacement directing the program will be arriving shortly from Pennsylvania. Cesar Perez and his family is moving to Emmett from the Gettysburg area where he has taught school and been involved in youth ministry.