It was a typical morning, navigating the kids through school drop-off when I realized they both needed Founder’s Day t-shirts for the upcoming free dress day Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Trinity Christian School. I found my place in line to get the shirts and soon others were lining up behind me. As we waited, the nicest lady behind me began a conversation simply asking, “Is this where you get Founder’s Day t-shirts?” I affirmed she was in the right place. She took a deep breath, smiled and said, “Oh, good. Thank you!” Relieved she was in the right place, she went on to ask my name and we started small talk. Within a few moments I realized this lady is extraordinary, so I kindly asked, “What is your name?” She humbly replied, “Joyce Herron.”

I recognized her name. You see she’s the reason we are even wearing Founder’s Day t-shirts! Without hesitation, I reached my arms around her with a great big hug, as to say, “Thank you!” My turn in line was next so there was no more time to talk. Our brief exchange stuck with me and the reality of how much Joyce’s life had impacted mine kept me undone for days. Then, it came to mind, we all need to know this remarkable woman a little better! So, she’s the first to be featured in a series of Remarkable Women God has put on display for us to learn from.

Joyce and I sat down to talk about life and what’s meaningful. Here’s what this amazing, almost 86 year old, wise woman had to say:

“I was born during the depression as a 3rd child with 6 siblings. We were 2 years a part. My adventurous father brought us together for dinner every night at 5pm. It was around the dinner table that I learned the importance of thinking. He would throw out a question and we each gave our answer. The art of thinking is being lost today among many distractions. But this was foundational to my life. It continues to influence how I live out my purpose. I daily ask myself two questions. “What did I learn today?” and “What did I do to help?”

When I was in the 2nd grade I had a very difficult teacher who showed favoritism. She really got me to thinking and as a result I made the decision that year that I’m going to be a teacher and I’m going to treat everyone the same.”

This remarkable woman went from 2nd Grade to becoming an influential educator who has transformed thousands of lives! While we were visiting, I leaned in to notice a green boot cut out of construction paper sticking out of her purse. She reached over and pulled it out to share. It was a handwritten note from a former student who had recently passed away. It read:

            “You have been a big influence in my life. You taught me to turn off the TV and have fun.” -Keith Hayes

          Joyce’s life passion persists as she advocates for all children to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Joyce feels that not knowing who we are in Him is the very worst thing that could ever happen! Her vision continues to inspire many teachers who remain on the frontlines today, working for modest salaries and giving unconditionally. She’s incredibly thankful for these leaders!

Thank you Joyce for being you, a truly remarkable example! You have changed the life and future of this single mom and her children! Your fingerprint will never fade from the many lives you have touched! My friends, Joyce’s story confirms that each one of us needs to be who we are! We too have a significant mark to leave behind! Let’s not underestimate our living!

Other great reads about Joyce Herron:

Bill & Joyce Endowment Fund:

Tips on Grandparenting:

Trinity Christian School Foundation:

Quote from 2007 High School Graduation: