Encouraged by her mother to chose either nursing or teaching, Naomi Kate Sheppard decided the former offered her the best opportunity for growth and success. She started out by earning a diploma from the Scott & White Hospital School of Nursing in 1955, after which she furthered her education with an Associate of Arts from Temple Junior College, a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and biology from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin. She also obtained certification in psychiatric nursing from the American Nursing Association. Degrees in hand, Ms. Sheppard set out to make her mark on the field. Her first professional position was staff nurse at
Among the first in Kentucky to be part of the special education school, Patsy Faye Mullins dedicated her career to working with students who needed extra help. She started her journey at Cumberland University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1962. The degree led her to her first professional position, elementary teacher at the Kenton County Board Education. Then, in 1964, Ms. Mullins completed postgraduate coursework at the University of Kentucky and transitioned into the role of kindergarten-fifth grade special education teacher at the district. She knew almost immediately that she had made the right decision; she loved the work. Ms. Mullins maintained her title even as she transitioned to the Laurel County Board Education in 1970.
From the time she was a little kid, Sherry Lipiec has loved art and education. Her father was a teacher, and he inspired her and her brothers to be studious and well-behaved. One of her favorite subjects in school was art; she won her first art award in kindergarten, and continued on from there. When it came time to choose a career, Ms. Lipiec decided to pick something that incorporated both of her passions: art education. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in the subject from Western Michigan University in 1967, and she never looked back. Ms. Lipiec’s first position in her field was seventh-ninth grade art teacher at Kelly Junior High in Michigan. She then moved through roles like
When Charolette J. Wagner was in school, she had a number of teachers who inspired her to pursue the field. She loved learning, and was determined to help others find that passion. Ms. Wagner shot to the top very quickly; some of her earliest positions include superintendent of the Etowah School District, and superintendent and coordinator of federal programs and gifted and talented programs at Manila Public Schools. She also served as the assistant to the dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Eventually, however, Ms. Wagner decided that she could spread her reach more as a legislator. She was a member of District 77 in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 2007
Raised in a household that stressed the importance of education, Natalie Jeanette Skeet dreamed of entering the field herself. She wanted to help young people achieve their goals, and academia seemed the best way to do it. Ms. Skeet worked hard to make it in the field; she went wherever she felt her skills would be most able to make a difference and gave every position her all. Her first job was in the classroom, where she worked with young children, and then she became a counselor, a drug prevention specialist, and a presenter at workshops on youth and youth leadership. Today, Ms. Skeet continues her quest to better the world. She has been a member of the advisory board