As Director of Postsecondary Pathways at Knox Education Foundation, Cynthia Manning-Dirl oversees the work of Project GRAD Knoxville for Austin-East and Fulton high schools, including implementation of new focus areas around student, family and community engagement, new funding supports for student success, managing the PGK Legacy Scholarship program, and mentoring post-secondary students through pathway completion.
Cynthia earned a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from the University of Tennessee and a master’s in strategic leadership from Tennessee State University. She also holds a certificate in nonprofit management from UT. She previously served as the Director of the Heart of Knoxville Career and Resource Center at Pellissippi State Community College.
She is a member of National College Attainment Network (NCAN). Cynthia’s community service includes Knoxville Sports Authority internship committee, Women’s Fund of East Tennessee Strong Women Strong Futures Network, tnAchieves mentor, East Knoxville Business and Professional Association, Overcoming Believers Church, and City of Knoxville Mayor’s Youth Council.
Cynthia, a native of Knoxville, and her husband, Walter Dirl, enjoy a blended family of four adult children and several grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, writing poetry and short stories, and calligraphy.