By Laura Moore
December 13, 2005
Mrs. Joyce Waid is a great teacher, role model, and leader
here at Locust Fork High School. With mixed emotions, she has recently
announced that she will be leaving at Christmas to take a job with the
State Department of Education through the University of North Alabama.
Mrs. Doris Cornelius said, “She is one of the best teachers I
have had the privilege of teaching with. On a day to day basis she was
always funny, entertaining, and professional. She is my friend and I
Waid has taught at Locust Fork for twenty-six years. Her happy spirit
follows her wherever she goes. According to Mrs. Pam Goss, “She
has taught me to always be professional, love the kids, and to teach
life lessons along with your subject.”
Mrs. Waid has a special gift for teaching as well as spicing
up her lessons with humor and real life examples. Her most astounding
characteristic is her caring nature. She has so much love and hope for
each of her students that she makes it impossible for them not to like
Mrs. Waid’s determination comes from both of her
parents. Since both of her parents were forced to drop out of school
due to uncontrollable circumstances, they were focused on ensuring that
all of their children complete high school and have an opportunity to
We can thank Mrs. Myrtie Murphree for influencing Mrs.
Waid to teach.
When she was in the third grade, Mrs. Murphree had her listening to
other children read. Nancy Smith, her guidance counselor, convinced
her to attend college. She was also motivated and influenced by Mr.
James Carr, the current Superintendent of Blount county Schools, who
was her Drivers Ed. and Government teacher at Appalachian High School.
high school, Mrs. Waid was the president of the Future Homemakers of
America. She was also in the Four H Club and the Beta Club. As far as
her social status goes, she says she wasn’t popular but neither
was she a nerd. Then again we all know how much she loves math. She
said that the best thing that ever happened to her was going off to
college. She went to Judson College, an all-girls school in Marion,
Alabama. So you can dismiss the idea of Mrs. Waid partying. The girls
did take a road trip to Six Flags once. Sounds like fun? It was until
she realized she had caught the measles from a guy that sat beside her
on a ride.
Mrs. Waid’s first teaching job was at Pickens Academy
in Carrolton, Alabama, where she taught for two years. She enjoyed teaching
there because it gave her the opportunity to get some experience. This
helped to make her a better teacher when she came to Locust Fork in
the fall of 1980.
From the start, Locust Fork was the “perfect”
place for Mrs. Waid because here was where she met her “perfect
man.” That year, she taught a seventh grade math class. Some of
the boys in the class played basketball and were coached by David Waid.
The boys urged him to ask her out and he did. Mr. and Mrs. Waid were
happily married within two years. Mrs. Waid has two daughters, Lindsey
born in 1983 and Whitney born in 1986. She claims, “Teaching helped
me be a better mom, and being a mom has helped me be a better teacher.
I understand a lot better about kids. When you have your own, it changes
your whole perspective on things.”
Waid feels like her biggest accomplishment is that she has received
the Blount County Teacher of the Year award three times. However, she
has received many honors and awards, including winning the WIAT Channel
42 “One Class At A Time” grant, the Blount County Education
Foundation grant five times, and the ACTM grant. She has also been selected
to the National Society of High School Scholars in 2004, the Who’s
Who Among American High School Teachers, and the Wind Beneath My Wings
award from the Blount County Student Assistants Program in 1996 and
1999. Most recently she was name the ALFA Teacher of the Month for March
About her time at Locust Fork, she says, “Even though
there have been different principals, faculty, and students throughout
the years, Locust Fork is the kind of place that makes people want to
stay. It is a family, and the one thing I love is teaching students
that I have previously taught their parents.”
Waid has these last words of advice to give to students, “Students,
get all you can out of education. It is the key to a better life, and
as much as I love math, I love learning more. If math is not your thing
find something that is, and learn all you can because it will give you
a better life.”
She also stated, “Future teachers, teaching is a
good profession, it is a noble profession no matter what anybody says.
We need good teachers, and you have to be prepared to do your very best
every single day.”
As a closing statement Mrs. Waid said, “I will miss
everybody, and I reserve the right to come back whenever I want, because
this is home and nothing else will ever be home like Locust Fork.”
read the farewell messages written to Mrs. Waid upon her retirement from Locust Fork,
here for a message Mrs. Waid wrote to Locust Fork High School.