Valencia teacher looks to rise from the ashes

Pharis and Team Rubicon volunteers standing outside of her home on Kagel Canyon. Photo Courtesy: Cindy Pharis
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For most people, socks are just part of a daily routine; but for Cindy Pharis they were all she had.

“My sister sent socks immediately, funky fun art socks — like, immediately,” she said. “It was funny, the kids like what I wear to school, so at least I had those funky socks.”

For Valencia High art teacher Cindy Pharis, the small act of kindness made her smile after immense devastation.

Last December, Pharis lost her home to the Creek Fire, barely escaping with the clothes on her back and her most prized possession, her dog Sketch. Now, she’s focused on moving forward.

“Because of your article, I have a real good roommate, who saw my plight in the paper and she used to be an art teacher… she just happened to have an extra bedroom and just happened to have a dog who could use a friend like Sketch and so it worked out really well for all of us.”

In addition to living in a new home, Pharis continues to work on her old home.

The nonprofit organization, Team Rubicon, came to her aid, volunteering their time to help her sort through debris and clean up her property .

“They’re very positive and they get right in there and do what has to be done and it can be tremendous,” she said. “There’s so much that they do. The lifting of tons and tons…so far we’ve lifted 38 tons from that house.”

A photo taken by a neighbor shows the charred wreckage of Cindy Pharis’ Kagel Canyon home.

Pharis is now in the process of filing paperwork for rebuilding her home, though as hard as that is, she tries to stay as positive as she can.

“Staying positive is the best thing I can do and I try my hardest to stay positive,” she added.

Pharis attributes her positivity to friends, neighbors and a network of support here in the Santa Clarita Valley that responded to her troubles.

“I’ve had people in the community just giving gift cards and donating to the Go Fund Me account,” she said. “It’s been remarkable to see what people to do to help.”

In just over a month, Pharis’ Go Fund Me Account has raised a little over $26,000.

“That account is a blessing,” she said. “I was thrilled to death to have them do that.”

As Pharis continues to move forward, she still knows that teaching will always be there.

“Teaching go the best job in there world…. I’m happy. I teach in a place where people care for each other, so I don’t feel alone, I feel that someone has my back.”

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