A Distinguished Alumni is noted for their success, their influence, and their ability to give to others. Throughout Grant County, if you say the name, Joyce Doyle, most people can tell you a story from their time at Grant County Schools, where Mrs. Doyle was engaging, funny, supportive, and present. The influence of Mrs. Doyle continues to ebb through our community as the children she taught, mentored, and encouraged age and mature. Can this impact be measured quantitatively? It can only be measured by the success that those she influenced obtained, a measurement that can last infinitely.
In a career with Grant County Schools that spanned thirty-seven years a generation of Grant County students have felt the impact of Mrs. Joyce Doyle, “In my career with Grant County Schools, I loved doing different jobs.” Joyce shared. During her career, she held titles that included, teacher, coach, Director of Pupil Personnel (DPP) twice, Principal at Grant County Middle School, Principal at Grant County High School, GED teacher, and Literacy Coordinator, her time and talents within the district were immense.
The legacy began in 1966, hired to implement an elementary physical education program for the six elementary schools, (Corinth, Mason, Dry Ridge, Mt. Zion, Jonesville, and Crittenden) Mrs. Doyle loved her job “I love children and feel strongly that all children should be happy, I loved going to work every day.” said Doyle.
The Willoughby family moved to Grant County when Mrs. Doyle was two years old, she has spent her entire life within our community. Her influence has been felt not only in the education realm, but also at the Extension Office as a 4-H Youth Development Agent, Williamstown City Council member, and member of Williamstown Christian Church.
Her life has not been without many trials. At the age of four years old, Mrs. Doyle was bringing cattle from the pasture to the barn when a tree limb caught her in the face, causing her to lose sight in her right eye. Mrs. Doyle reminisces, “Reading was a chore for me because of the strain on my left eye. Classmates would laugh and tease me, some would call me three eyes, because of my thick-lensed glasses.” After many years of being at recess alone, she was finally accepted, through these trials she never felt handicapped. “I just kept on keeping on, it made me more determined than ever to succeed.”
In her devotion to our community, Mrs. Doyle cites her impact in bringing Northern Kentucky University to Grant County as her biggest contribution. She shares, “It just goes to show, if you have a dream, hold on to it and make it happen.”
Being named a Distinguished Alumni is not Mrs. Doyle’s first accolade, she was named as the first recipient of the Grant County Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year. Joyce was also named Grant County Chamber of Commerce Grant Countian of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year. She has received the John Swack District 3 4-H Agent award, and is in the Grant County High School Basketball Hall of Fame, being the inaugural girls’ basketball coach.
Joyce holds three degrees, a bachelor’s in Language Arts, Health, and Physical Education from Morehead State University, a Master’s in Secondary Education from Georgetown College, and a Rank 1 in Administration and Supervision from the University of Kentucky. Her family supported her through it all, when her daughter Candy was young, Mrs. Doyle was the Principal at Grant County Middle School, “Candy never complained about my absence because my mother moved in with us when my dad passed away.” Mrs. Doyle said, “My family has always supported me in every move I have made.”
Joyce’s passion for education began in elementary school, with Mrs. Barbara Hopper, and then by fourth grade Mrs. Josephine Threlkeld’s influence solidified her future career path, Mrs. Doyle shares, “I loved all my teachers and wanted to make a difference in the lives of children like my teachers did for me.” Making a difference she did, and she continues to do so today.