Former teacher, Congressional candidate to visit U of O

Release Date: 12/1/2008

Clarksville, Ark. --- Motivational speaker Tierney Cahill, a former sixth grade teacher who became an unlikely Congressional candidate, will speak at University of the Ozarks on Tuesday, Dec. 16, as part of the university's Walton Arts & Ideas Series.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the box office on the evening of the event or by calling the university at 479-979-1346.

As a mother of three and a sixth-grade teacher in Reno, Nevada, Cahill never expected to become politically active. Yet, in the middle of teaching a civics lesson everything changed. She told her students that anyone can run for political office. They disagreed, claiming that "normal" Americans did not have a role in government. Determined to prove them wrong, Cahill dedicated herself to running for the District 2 Congressional seat.

Without financial backing or name-recognition, she still managed to bring attention to important issues, such as education, mental health, and nuclear waste. Although Cahill lost the campaign, she received an incredible 34 percent of the vote.

A true inspiration, Cahill showcases the power of teachers, never-ending optimism, and belief in American democracy and the principles upon which the nation was founded.

Cahill’s incredible story is the subject of the upcoming film, Class Act, starring Halle Berry. Her memoir of her experience running for office, Ms Cahill for Congress, was released in October 2008.