Alumni Success Stories | Kent State University

Alumni Success Stories

Joyce Kraft

Joyce Kraft1. What degree(s) have you earned? Where are they from?

I graduated from KSU in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education; it was a double degree in Health Education (two years pre-med and a minor in biology) and a degree in Physical Education (kindergarten through 12th grade). I earned my Supervising Certification from Texas A&M University along with state certifications from Sam Houston University and Texas A&M.

2. Where are you from originally? Where are you currently residing?

I was born in Youngstown, Ohio, but at age 14 months we moved to Berlin Center. We moved to Lisbon, Ohio after my 7th grade year.

3. What grade and what area did you teach?

I taught at Eastern Heights in Elyria, Ohio in the fall of 1952 before moving to Texas. After getting married, having four children and living at 16 addresses across the United States, in 1970 we were settled enough that I began teaching health education in high school at Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston, Texas for a year. I was then moved to Westchester High School for two years and I was moved to Spring Branch Junior High teaching physical education. I then transferred to an 8th grade earth science position and then was transferred to an open concept elementary school as a physical education teacher and then offered a job as a Supervising Teacher at a high school in the Houston Independent School System. I also taught DWI and Drug Offender education for the state of Texas for 21 years.

4. What was your favorite part about being in education? What made you want to continue for so long?

I always wanted to share any knowledge I had with others. The greatest "high" I get is when I know by students telling me that what they have learned from me HAS CHANGED THEIR LIFE!!

5. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?

Considering that the area I lived in only 10% of high school graduates went on to college and of the 10%, only 2% were girls. Frequently the women of my generation were relegated to be "stay at home moms". We didn't earn a salary; we didn't get promotions, and seldom an opportunity to interact with the public or to use the education we had earned. Thus it eliminated our ability to earn Social Security quarters for retirement. I am one of the blessed.

6. How did you train for your 100 meter dash? What was it like to be the winner?

I went to the closest High School to practice the 100 Meter Dash. I earned a gold medal. How did I feel about winning? I was very proud to be standing on the top tier as THE winner.

7. How are you enjoying your retirement?

It has taken me a while to realize I have more "free" time. I doubt if I'll ever retire, retire - there is too much I still wish to accomplish! Soon I plan to write articles; I've had the title and have been collecting subject matter for years. People always ask. "Why don't you write a book or all this will be lost? Why not? I have the title for that, too.

8. Do you have any favorite memories from being a student at KSU?

I remember being a counselor in the Freshman Dorm and attending many formal dances, with name bands. I was sponsored by the Kappa Sigma's as their candidate for a Queen and being selected into Cardinal Key. Between classes, shooting hoops with the KSU basketball team in Wills gym- they taught me the hook shot, etc. I remember making the Dean's List while working 40 hours and earning an A for both of my Student Teaching assignments. I also remember dating the star end on the football team. Yes, I worked my complete way through college and had a blast doing it! My college experience was one of a great education and the balance of friendships and life experiences. I came away prepared for what was to follow - almost.

9. Do you have any advice you would like to give a current KSU student?

Keep and develop your moral compass. Retain an open mind about everything. Perceptions are ALWAYS wrong. Continually question, be curious, and be eager to learn. Develop a good work ethic. Be loyal – watch what you say. Take the opportunity to "play it forward". Live in an attitude of gratitude; in a journal - every day, write five things for which you are grateful. Learn from your mistakes, we have all made them. Be patriotic. Balance your life with fun, share love..... The BIG one - Choices have consequences, some good, and some bad!