Call it fate, providence or sheer luck, but three generations of the Reindl family owe their scholastic destiny to a broken-down car.
The year was 1969. As a 35-year-old mother of three school-age children, Carole Reindl felt ready to start a new chapter in life. Alone at her kitchen table one morning, she pondered the possibilities, not yet sure about her future plans.
“Just then my doorbell rang,” Carole recalls. “A girl who lived next door asked if I could give her a ride to Seminole Junior College to register for classes because her car wouldn’t start. I had no idea there was a college nearby – no idea at all.”
Once Carole arrived on campus, a guidance counselor asked if she’d like to enroll as well. She hadn’t really considered going back to school – and she didn’t think any college would accept her anyway.
Assured by the counselor that she’d be a perfect fit, Carole eagerly signed up for 20 credit hours and graduated two years later with straight A’s. It was a watershed decision that proved to be the first step toward starting her career as a teacher and earning a master’s degree in education from UCF.
Grateful for the opportunity to spread her wings, Carole has built a legacy with Seminole State College that spans most of the college’s 50-year history. Not only have two daughters and a grandson attended her alma mater, but, at 81, she’s still enrolled at Seminole State, singing alto in the college-sponsored community chorus she helped found in 1973. In addition, she has taken every art course – except one – offered by the school. (Printmaking gets checked off the list this fall.)
“Seminole State keeps me young,” Carole says with a smile and hearty laugh. “I don’t think there’s anyone who loves the college more than I do. Thanks to Seminole State, I continue to grow as a person.”
From 1971 to 2000, Carole taught third and fifth grade at Woodlands, Idyllwilde and Red Bug elementary schools. In retirement, she’s had time to develop her passion for art by taking courses under esteemed professors such as Grady Kimsey, Larry Vienneau and Giuseppe Corazzina.
Carole’s ranch home on a quiet, tree-lined street in Casselberry – where she and husband Frank have lived since 1968 – features dozens of personal paintings ranging from watercolor and charcoal to acrylic and pastel. Over the years, she’s donated most of her artwork to people in the community, including a recent portrait of longtime friend Robin Parker, music program coordinator and accompanist at Seminole State for nearly 40 years.
Perhaps Carole’s greatest gift of all, however, is wrapped up in the lives of those closest to her.
Around the time Carole was finishing up at Seminole State, daughters Adrianne and Janice were starting Lyman High School. It wasn’t long before they, too, enrolled at their local college.
Adrianne, the oldest, enrolled at Seminole State in 1974. Later she transferred to Florida State University and eventually joined the Marine Corps. For the past 29 years, she’s been a field engineer with Hewlett Packard and currently services the Tallahassee market.
Janice entered Seminole State in 1976 as the first recipient of the Marty Stein Music Scholarship – named in memory of a fellow Lyman student. After graduation, she went to work in the hospitality industry and is now a convention services manager at Disney.
“Seminole State has been good to our family. All of us did very well there,” Adrianne says. “On a personal level, it prepared me for the real world, because it bolstered my confidence and gave me a chance to mature during those two years.”
Adrianne’s son, Nathan Hauptkorn, can relate to his mother. A self-described “wanderer” at Lyman High, he appreciates how Seminole State helped him transition to adulthood by providing guidance and career skills in a non-stressful learning atmosphere.
Happy to follow in his mother and grandmother’s footsteps, Nathan became the family’s third-generation Seminole State graduate in 2008. A few years later, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from UCF.
“One of the things that was neat about being at Seminole State was that my grandmother and I both got a job together in the campus bookstore,” says Nathan, who lives in Windermere and works at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “I’m grateful because the college helped me find my passion and follow it. I know my mom, aunt and grandma can all say the same thing.”
From Orange Grove to Alma Mater
Seminole State College of Florida is celebrating 50 years of changing lives. The College opened as the first public college in the area in a former citrus grove. Today, Seminole State serves more than 30,000 students with campuses in Altamonte Springs, Heathrow, Oviedo and Sanford/Lake Mary. For more about the college, visit www.seminolestate.edu, like us on Facebook: facebook.com/seminolestate, and follow us on Twitter: @seminolestate.