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You can’t be around her for long without realizing that she loves other people’s children and has a sincere desire for them all to succeed.
She has spent two careers working with and around the children of Grant County.
In her many jobs as a physical education teacher, then as a coach, principal, director of pupil personnel, volunteer and finally as a 4-H agent, kids come first, last and in between in Joyce Doyle’s world.
I know she has personally spent her own money and time away from her own family to invest in other people’s children.
Joyce is tenacious. There are people today who cringe slightly when they find out she’s waiting to see them or she’s requested a few minutes on an agenda because she’s come asking for money, volunteers or support for one of her many programs.
She’s a hard worker. She’s been known to drive to Louisville to the state fair to support some of her 4-H youth and then back to Grant County to attend a meeting or event involving some of her other “children” and then return to Louisville or elsewhere in the state because some other kids had invited her to an event. What would be a harrowing day for most of us, could be a typical day for her.
All that racing around might have made her appear to many adults to be disorganized, disheveled and definitely late, but to the young people that she made a promise to, she kept her word.
One can’t be in Grant County long without encountering Joyce Doyle at some event or activity involving kids.
I can’t think of Joyce without thinking kids in the same thought.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with and around her on many school, 4-H and community events and projects.
Her enthusiasm and optimism are infectious.
She’s just one of those special people that can make things happen and get things done.
Even when she gets discouraged, she finds the silver lining and presses on.
Loving children and showing them their worth is the heart and soul of who she is and what she does.
She’s not afraid to disagree with you and then argue until there’s no fight left as to why you should change your mind, especially if it involves a child.
That love of children, though, has rubbed a fair share of parents, teachers and other authority figures the wrong way, especially when she sided with the child.
Like anyone who isn’t afraid to speak their mind and go out on a limb when they have to, she’s bound to have detractors, but the one thing that anyone and everyone who knows her will have to agree on is that she loves kids.
Our community has been blessed and fortunate to have her involved with our children for more than 40 years.
She’ll still be around because she’ll continue to live in Williamstown, but she’s moved on to become Carroll County’s 4-H agent.
She’s left some big shoes to fill.
(Jamie Baker-Nantz is editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at 859-824-3343 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)