Why did you choose Wesleyan?
“I am one of 13 children and the only one in my family to graduate from college. My 11th grade English teacher at Olmstead High School encouraged me to go to college. I was recruited to play basketball, and I found the small, intimate campus appealing. It was the perfect fit for me.”
What are special memories of your years as a student?
“The small class sizes were great, and I remember the close relationships I had with my professors. They were caring.
In addition to basketball, I played softball four years and volleyball and tennis for two years. My coaches and professors were always very supportive of my endeavors.
One of my best memories is of my Mom coming to my games at the Sportscenter. With such a large family, it was not easy for her to travel to Owensboro. I remember that she surprised me the first time she came. What a wonderful surprise that was, and I believe it is my best memory of my college years.”
What professors served as mentors to you?
“Dr. Walter Beumel, an education professor, comes to mind. He was very caring, and he related everything we studied to life. He talked about how poor he was growing up and how education had made such a difference in his life. I identified with him, and he inspired me.
I also think of Dr. Lee Dew in social studies. He was tough, but fair. I learned from his toughness, and he taught me to be a better student.”
How did your Wesleyan experiences prepare you for life?
“I learned how to manage my time. I could not have played all those sports and done well academically without learning to prioritize. As I look back, I can see that my professors and coaches modeled the values of patience, hard work and a positive attitude. I came to realize that God had given me gifts, and that it was up to me to use them well. I worked hard, and it paid off.
As a student-athlete, I learned the value of practice and how to work with all kinds of people. I also learned how to be a coach, and I particularly remember what a great tennis coach Barbara Johnson was.”
“I love this campus, and I think it is the place to be. It is just as warm and friendly today as it was when I was a student.”
Tell us about your career path.
“I substitute now in the city and county. I served in many capacities in education in Owensboro/Daviess County before retiring as a guidance counselor. I was a language arts and reading teacher and was a coach for several sports. I’ve always seen myself as a role model, just as my 11th grade teacher and professors at Wesleyan were role models to me.”
What was it like to come back to campus as the tennis coach after all these years?
“I realized once again that Wesleyan gives our students every opportunity and every tool to succeed. I am so glad to be a part of our students’ lives and to be a role model for them. Wesleyan is a family, just like it was when I was a student here, and I see respect and genuine care for our students every day. I love being the tennis coach. We are building the program with super young people.”
What advice do you have for our students?
“Work hard. Your hard work will be recognized by other people, and they will tell your story. You don’t have to tell it yourself. Tell it through what you do.”