Her Story: Candace Ahlfinger

Following the footsteps of her parents, Wanda and Benton Cain, Candace Ahlfinger has spent most of her adult life serving in the education field.

After graduating from Waxahachie High School, Ahlfinger received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University in Houston with a triple major of English, Spanish and political science, and later received a Master of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech’s Rawls College of Business.

During her first week of college, she met her husband, Randy. They had a long-distance romance while he was in Atlanta and married after 2 ½ years of dating. They have two children, Moriah, 38, who is director of the Special Education Department at Allen High School, and Robert, 35, principal engineer at Dialexa. Both children had their grandmother, Wanda Cain, as their teacher. The Ahlfingers have two granddaughters.

Not really wanting to get into the education field, Ahlfinger did start teaching all subjects for 12 years at Navarro College before teaching Spanish with Waxahachie ISD.

She then began her career as WISD’s director of public relations, after spending a year as its volunteer coordinator. She left for six years to serve as associate superintendent for communications and community relations of the Pasadena ISD and 2.5 years as executive director of communications and public affairs for Richardson ISD before returning to WISD as director of communications.

“Melissa Cobb and I started at the district at the same time,” she said. “It was a great opportunity during that time for many programs to be developed under the leadership of (then) superintendent Dr. Bobby Parker.

“It was a fun job and I enjoyed the programs we implemented, such as a crisis plan, PIE (Partners in Education), the Education Foundation and the community education program,” Ahlfinger said. “Dr. Parker was the driving force behind these programs.”

Ahlfinger retired three years ago and does consulting, training and public speaking. She volunteers for the Waxahachie Junior Service League, Restore Waxahachie, Lighthouse for Learning and her church, First Baptist Church. She also writes for an online community-based website, Ellis DownHome, and continues to serves on the Waxahachie Foundation’s board of directors after a term as its president.

The Ahlfingers enjoy traveling, which she chronicles for Ellis Downhome, saying their favorite place is “someplace we’ve never been.”

She’s very close to her mother.

“Mom is well loved and people call her strong willed and determined. I say she’s stubborn,” she commented with a grin. “I was in my mom’s class and I was actually harder on her than she was on me.” As a student in her mom’s class, Ahlfinger said she didn’t call her “Mrs. Cain.”

“She was just ‘Mom.’”


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