Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Waid

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 love her!”

Mrs. 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 her.

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 attend college.

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.

In 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.”

Mrs. 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 2006.

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.”

Mrs. 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.”

To read the farewell messages written to Mrs. Waid upon her retirement from Locust Fork, click here.

Click here for a message Mrs. Waid wrote to Locust Fork High School.