I graduated from Fairview High School in Camden, Arkansas, in 1971. I graduated from East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, Texas, in 1980 and from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1990. I have two diplomas from The Institute for Children’s Literature (2006 & 2008).
I have a BA in Secondary Education in English and history and 20+ credits in music education from ETBC and an MEd in language arts education from UAA. I also have two diplomas from the Institute for Children’s Literature in West Redding, Connecticut: Writing for children and teenagers and novel writing for adolescents. I also hold AP certification for teaching AP English Language and Composition and AP English Literature and Composition.
I have taught English, history, and music at various public and private schools in Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and Arkansas. I have also taught English and history on three post-secondary campuses: University of Alaska Anchorage, Wayland Baptist University—Alaska Center (including Army and Air Force facilities in Anchorage), and Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden, Arkansas.
My professional development training includes teaching writing for secondary levels, two-year and four-year college/university adult education, and rigorous AP training in English Language and Composition and English Literature and Composition.
I have been awarded Outstanding Adjunct Faculty for Concurrent Credit from Southern Arkansas University Tech (2016) and Teacher of the Year at Camden Fairview High School (2017).
I started teaching at Camden Fairview in November 2014 as the SAU Tech Concurrent Credit writing instructure through the AP classes. I have been here in that capacity since and love my work and the students so much! Currently, I teach AP English Literature and Composition and Concurrent Credit courses for sophomore level college English to seniors and AP English Language and Composition and Concurrent Credit courses for freshman level college English to juniors. Occasionally, seniors will join the juniors in order to work on at least the freshman level college English courses.
I have always dreamed of teaching at Fairview High School where I graduated; so being at Camden Fairview High School is a dream come true, even though it is no at the building I walked and remember. Before coming to CFHS, I taught in English in Texas at Jefferson Junior High School, English and history at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Wayland Baptist University-Alaska Center, and English, history, and music and drama in Colorado at Centennial Christian Academy. When I moved back to Camden after getting back on my feet following my husband’s death, I was immediately hired at Southern Arkansas University Tech to teach English within 24 hours of my arrival. I have been blessed with a long, successful career. I hope to continue it at CFHS until time to hang it up many years from now.
I was born and raised in Camden and followed my dad’s footsteps in the halls of Fairview School. I even had some of his teachers who remembered him and graduated twenty years after he did. After graduating in 1971, I went to East Texas Baptist College where I met Billy Joe Fickey. For me, it was love at first sight; but I had to be patient so our time together was the right time. I never doubted our connection.
I was married to the love of my life for almost 34 years. In 2006, he died from complications resulting from his service in Vietnam. We have two daughters that graduated from East Anchorage High School. They are both married to our wonderful sons-in-law and have blessed us with eight grandchildren in all. Currently, they live in Washington and Colorado.
I am a published author of four children’s books for the middle reader, directed specifically to reluctant readers and boys in particular; but the avid reader is also drawn into the stories. They are set in the Frenchport community during the Smackover oil boom years and are loosely based on my family’s history with the boom. They are historical fiction, mystery, suspense chapter novels designed to entertain while helping kids develop their reading skills and get them to thinking without realizing it. Families sit and read the books (a series of stand-alone stories with the same characters in the same setting following the summer months of 1925) aloud together. I am currently working on a new installment to the series that moves the stories into the fall of 1925.
I have been the editor of THE OUACHITA COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY since January 2017. It’s a fun way to keep my writing skills honed and keep in touch with out past while writing historical fiction from the area. It’s an honor to be associated with this group of people interested in our past.
I am also a musician actively involved in playing keyboards and singing regularly in the choir and as a soloist at Cullendale First Baptist Church.
I love my city and the young people in Camden. I love the students at Camden Fairview High School and challenge my students to be the best they can be with intentionality! I am happy right where I am doing what I do with the people I work alongside on a daily basis. There’s no better place to be!