Her Story: Wanda Cain

Waxahachie resident, Wanda Cain, devoted much of her life teaching students in Waxahachie ISD. Although often strict with her students, she is widely recognized as one of the most loved and respected teachers to ever teach in a Waxahachie classroom. “I never saw the changes some people saw in kids,” she said. “I always considered high school students to be young adults and I treated them as such. When I felt I may have been too on hard them, I would always tell them that I loved them.”

Cain was born in the country near Trumbull in 1929 and attended school in Palmer, where there were seven students in her class. She graduated high school in Ennis in 1947 with 80 students in her graduating class. She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in English and education in 1950 from North Texas State College and later received her master’s degree. Cain began teaching in WISD during the 19671968 school year. In all, she taught 47 years during her career, with 39 of those in Waxahachie. She would retire from teaching in 2006 but returned for a while to teach part-time. Recalling her first time in a classroom, she had a smile on her face as she shared with the Sun, “I was somewhat nervous because I came from a very small school.”

A meeting in church led to a 61-year marriage to Benton Cain, who passed away three years ago. He was a longtime librarian at Waxahachie High School. “We were members of different churches,” Cain said. “There was a scheduled meeting that he wasn’t able to attend and he asked me to bring handouts from the meeting, which I did. Benton said he owed me a dinner. “I had moved to Vernon and he was in Colorado so we wrote to one another. He could not spell and he wrote pretty bad,” Cain said with a chuckle. He began sending her a rose every day to her office and, with the final and 12th rose, included a marriage proposal. The marriage produced their only child, Candace. Cain has one granddaughter and one grandson.

Several memories stand out for Cain. “I always got to know my students,” she said. “I remember one time I had a student stand up in class and say that the only reason he was in the class was to prove that I was as good as they said I was.” Cain said she also gave some advice on marriage to her students: “I said to always marry your best friend but to be careful because your kids will look like the person you marry and they will act like you too.” Many of her students were friends of Candace’s – and Cain’s house is where they hung out, she said.

Since her retirement, Cain took a bad fall, which resulted in her losing a leg. She is now walking, though, with her prosthetic leg. “I could not have made it through this without the help of Candace and my son-in-law Randy (Ahlfinger),” she said. A member of First Baptist Church, Cain said she enjoys reading Louis L’Amour books among her pastimes. She also shared with the Sun she would return to teaching part-time if the district would have her. Her favorite quote? It’s one of Ulysses’: “I’m a part of all I’ve met.”


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