The purpose of my life is not just to be happy; it must be useful, honorable, compassionate. It must have made a difference that I have lived.
Misty, the younger of two daughters, grew up in Anderson, Indiana and attended Anderson Community Schools until graduating in 1973 from Madison Heights High School. With the goal of becoming a teacher like her mother, she attended Anderson College (now AU) and Ball State University for her undergraduate and then graduate work in education. One of the things she is proudest of is using that degree in 31 years of teaching. Now retired, she says, “I truly loved being a small part of students’ lives.”
Misty tried to make her classroom a place where students could enjoy learning and where every student could find a voice. This idea was instilled in Misty very young while visiting her mother’s classroom. “My elementary school was in the township and Mom taught in the city, and sometimes our schedules for vacation days were different. I recall watching her teach and thinking how much fun it was to be in her class. I knew that I wanted to make learning fun too, so, I set my path toward teaching and never looked back.” With this influence, along with memorable teachers like Mr. Bowman, Cora Mae Simmons, and others, Misty has certainly lived up to the idea that her life has made a difference in the lives of her many students.
Though her husband, Daniel, children, Zachary, Joel and Brytni, and her grandchildren, Camden, Lilly, Kendall and Connor continue to make Misty’s “buttons pop off my jacket,” not everything has been perfect. She states as her biggest obstacle was the sudden death of son, Zachary, in an airplane accident. She will always miss him and longs for him each day.
Misty’s biggest influence in her life is her faith. “Faith is at the heart of who I am. Throughout the highs and lows of my life, I persevered because of my Lord . . . living my faith and trying to be more like Jesus–that is what inspires me to do good,” she says.
For Misty, there are no regrets in life. “The best way is to change yourself and your actions is to forge onward. Looking ahead rather than back at regrets is the best way to live,” she believes. It is apparent, on another look at the introductory poem, that Misty has been “useful, honorable, compassionate.” It is her goal to live her life by these words.