Education was always top priority
Occupation: Executive director, Panhandle Regional Planning Commission (30 years with the organization, 22 years as executive director)
Where did you receive your education?
High School: Amarillo High School; College: Amarillo College, West Texas State University (now West Texas A & M University)
How has your education played a role in your life today?
The formal education I received plays a big role in my everyday professional life. I have a bachelor's degree in public administration, so there is a direct link between my college course work and my day-to-day professional responsibilities. I have been able to put those classroom lessons to work for more than 30 years.
What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
Getting up in time to make 8 a.m. classes! Seriously, the greatest challenge was understanding and successfully sorting through the seemingly limitless array of educational/career options and making a choice appropriate for me. I received great advice and direction from Dr. J. Pat Stephens, now retired as a faculty member from WTAMU, who inspired me to pursue a career in public service.
What is the value of your education?
The obvious answer is monetary. I have no doubt that my ability to earn a living has been positively impacted by my formal education. However, beyond the paycheck, education has served to broaden and deepen my perceptions and perspectives on life and living.
What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Continuing your education is a "no-brainer." I realize that life can be difficult and circumstances complicated. However, finding a way to make education a priority is the right option every time.
When did you make education a priority?
I actually don't remember education not being a priority. Although I am a first-generation college graduate, my parents had college expectations of me and, quite frankly, you don't mess with mother's expectations.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
Again, my parents made it clear that education was important. From first grade forward, doing no less than my best in the classroom was the expectation.
Did you ever think of quitting? What made you keep going?
Sure, I thought about quitting. Working 40 hours per week and carrying a full college course load was not a lot of fun. However, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve an internship in my field of study in my junior year. That internship experience convinced me that I was not going very far in the work world without a college degree.