Cynthia Allen: The Consummate Spartan
February 24, 2013 by Ty Roder
Assistant to the Athletic Director, Cynthia Allen’s efforts at TJ don’t go unnoticed, as her hard work provides guidance for many students.
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The virtual backbone of Spartan Athletics, Cynthia Allen was born in the small town of Valentine, Nebraska, and grew up at Capital Beach Lake near Lincoln, where she attended Lincoln High School.
As a youngster, Allen was a cheerleader, played basketball and ran track during high school. She later moved to Colorado to live with her mom where she attended Metro State and the University of Denver Women’s College.
During her college years, Allen developed a taste for the food industry; she worked at numerous restaurants in the Denver Metro area and was a training manager at Bennigans. Before her time at TJ, Allen left the restaurant business and started working for DPS as a paraprofessional. Allen then took the job at TJ, making her the assistant to the athletic director and putting her in charge of scheduling events for TJ sports along with making sure the events run smoothly. With her love for sports, Allen is also the Head Boys and Girls Swim Coach.
Allen has many ties to the TJ sports community. Her husband Damion Allen is the Head Girls’ Basketball coach and Girls’ Track Coach. Allens’ three children, Ivory, Demetrius, and Marcus have all attended TJ and have taken part in the swimming community with their mom at the helm. Ivory, who now works at TJ as Pro Tech at the Center for Communication Technology, also played softball at TJ and went on to play at Colorado State University. Demetrius and Marcus also played football, and wrestled. “I love TJ! I think the academics are outstanding and you can really earn a good education. The staff is incredible, and it’s always a good feeling walking into the building,” says Allen about her favorite parts of TJ. Allen expresses her love for education through helping numerous students throughout the years pursue their goals and reach college, along with her inspiration surrounding sports, which has influenced her to get involved in swimming at TJ.
“I love the end of the season. Swimming is such a hard sport, and once we get around three-fourths of the way through, the kids really start to see their growth and buy into the program, as well as see how tough physically and mentally they really are,” states Allen on the swim program’s progression. “My most memorable moment as the swim coach has to be the 2008 season when our boys had a terrific turnout at a DPS relay meet and shocked many other schools. We took first place at the meet and knew that TJ could have a impact on swimming in DPS,” she said. Allen has helped the TJ community with a number of sports-related events and always strives to achieve more. Allen states how the swim team’s high expectations through numerous drills and practice sessions along with grueling morning workouts make it an outstanding program
Other TJ faculty have much to say about Allen. “She’s really positive and wants every swimmer to do the best that they can. She’s an advocate for our athletes being well-rounded, not necessarily year-round swimmers, and that they get involved in other sports at TJ. Not only does she see students outside the pool, but anyone can stop by her office and ask her a question. She is more in touch with the culture at TJ, which can help at swim practice,” states TJ Math Teacher Aimee Witulski, the Head Dive Coach, on Allens’ work ethic and her ability to help students.
Having her children attend TJ has made working there that much more special, said Allen. “I love my mom being the swim coach. She knows how to make you a better athlete but still have a good time. It’s awesome being able to see her at school. I can go to her anytime of the day and she makes school much easier,” stated Marcus Allen, who is a current senior at TJ.
Allen’s hard work and determination to make students thrive has created a safer and friendlier environment here at TJ. Her attitude stands out with swimmers and is always positive as she continues to help students on their journey through life.