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Joyce Doyle has left the county.
The former teacher, coach, principal, truant officer and 4-H agent has left Grant County to be Carroll County’s newest 4-H agent.
“I’m a person who really, really has to have a challenge,” Doyle said, last Friday, as she packed up her 4-H office on Baton Rouge Road in Williamstown.
She points to her track record working with Grant County’s children.
She spent 14 years as a physical education teacher. For the next 15 years, she worked first as Grant County Schools director of pupil personnel for five years, followed by five years as principal at Grant County Middle School and then the next five as DPP.
Doyle, a native of Grant County, then retired and worked for four years with Grant County’s Adult Education program.
She returned to school as principal at Grant County High School, where she spent another five years.
She retired again; this time for only three months before accepting a 4-H assistant position. When the job became open, she applied and has been helping the youth in Grant County with livestock, food, science, photography, art, animals, etc. for the last five years.
“I’m a five-year goal setter, so it was time for the next challenge,” she said.
She leaves the 4-H program strong with 54 project areas, all led by volunteers.
“I’ve had success in that time because of the wonderful people in Grant County who have stepped up and gave generously of their time to our youth,” she said.
“The 4-H program is absolutely the product of volunteers and I appreciate the collaboration of the community, including volunteers and businesses who have made it what it is.”
The accomplishment she’s most proud of is that outdoor learning center on hilly land behind GCMS.
With the help of the Grant County Soil Conservation District, hard work from volunteers and staff such as Lamar Fowler, the 4-H program assistant, a cabin has been built on the site, as well as construction is underway on an Indian village. Countless programs on nature, plants and soil conservation have been taught.
“Once the land was purchased, we wrote a five-year plan and two years into and it’s way better than I could have imagined,” she said.
Carroll County has been without an agent for about five years. Agents are employees of the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Program. They are hired by UK but then work with volunteer councils in their counties.
“4-H is not just about competition, it’s about teaching life skills. There’s just so many possibilities with 4-H and that’s what I want to bring to Carroll County,” she said.
Grant County has a 40-member extension council. Part of her job in Carroll County will be to recruit new council members.
“An agent is merely there to see that UK’s policies are carried out,” she said. “The council is the backbone of the program.”
She’ll also be conducting a survey to see what the residents of Carroll County want in their program. Then begins the recruitment of volunteers.
“It’s all really exciting,” she said. “I like to meet new people.”
She’s an advocate of education and youth.
“As far as developing leadership in young people, there’s no better or more successful program than 4-H,” she said.
With her “can-do” attitude and resolution for children, Doyle started her new job on Monday, Aug. 20.
A car accident, in which another driver forced her off the road and into two trees on her way home from work after her first day, didn’t stop her from being back on the job on Aug. 21.