I have always loved school. My mother said I used to line up teddy bears and teach them before I had siblings. But when I married at age 19, I did not plan on finishing college. I had finished my freshman year at a local community college in Michigan and moving to Tennessee changed all those plans. I took a job at a local newspaper, did some substitute teaching and decided there had to be a better way to make a living. Pregnant with our first child and a bit apprehensive, I enrolled part time at the local university. What made it possible for me was a wide circle of support—my husband encouraged me to go, my mother-in-law kept the baby, friends pitched in and helped. Even the University president interceded on our behalf to make sure we did not have to pay out of state tuition. Going part-time helped me gain the confidence I needed as a non-traditional student. I was able to take several CLEP tests and gain credits and that kept me going. I found a passion for education during that time.

I was able to finish that initial degree, gain 2 more graduate degrees and finish a doctorate in Educational Leadership. I was blessed to spend 38 years working in schools. I still love school. I still love students. You are never too old, too pregnant or too far from home to make a new start!

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