by Lorie Lewis Ham
Here at Kings River Life Magazine, we realize how important teachers are to the lives of our children and the future of our communities as they shape the leaders of tomorrow. Sadly, most of the best teachers work long hours with little recognition or thanks. Our goal here is to take a moment to thank as many of these teachers as we can—the teachers who make a difference. Joyce Huebert is one of those teachers who exceed expectations.In a sense, Joyce Huebert has been a part of Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD) since first grade when she moved to Orange Cove from Oklahoma. She attended Orange Cove Elementary and then Reedley High School. Even for college she remained in the area attending Reedley College, Fresno State and Fresno Pacific University.
Before becoming a teacher Joyce worked for the Ford Dealership, Growers Supply, Crocker Bank, Gus Janzen Accounting Agency and Huebert Farms. Her initial inspiration to become a teacher was her fourth grade teacher Mrs. Pickens, but she stated that it was the late Silas Bartsch who continually encouraged her to complete her credential to teach.
Joyce has worked for KCUSD for 22 years now, first as a business department instructor, then as an administrator and finally for the last six years as Consumer and Family Studies Instructor, teaching Baking and Pastry and Foods and Nutrition at Reedley High School. “I have worked at Reedley High School for 15 years, Sheridan Elementary School in Orange Cove for five and a half years, and six months at Citrus Middle School in Orange Cove as Learning Director, as well as Principal at Navelencia Middle School for Summer School.”
“Mrs. Huebert always knows how to make class interesting, and I look forward to her class every day,” said RHS Junior Megan Turner. “Not to mention hers is one of the only classes I can eat in.”
Other classes she has taught through the years include Business Math, Recordkeeping, Accounting I & II, Information Processing, Keyboarding, Advanced Information Processing, Office Skills, Leadership, Child Development, Family Studies, and On Your Own. “I am blessed to have taught students in Kings Canyon Unified School District,” shared Joyce.
“I have known Joyce for many years and I have learned perseverance and grace from her,” said Ron Hudson, Deputy Superintendent, KCUSD. “Joyce entered the teaching profession late and learned quickly. In spite of challenges in her personal and professional life, she daily demonstrates expertise and passion to her students. Joyce is a special lady and we are fortunate to have her in KCUSD.”
“I was a re-entry student after 25 years and am truly blessed to have fulfilled a lifelong dream,” continued Joyce. Her typical day begins at 7 a.m. when she arrives to plan for the day. She teaches 6 periods with one period for prep, and leaves between 4 and 4:30 in the afternoon. In what spare time she has, she loves to read, travel and entertain, and serves as the Wedding Coordinator for her church, Full Gospel Tabernacle.
“I think Joyce goes beyond mere instruction in food and cooking,” said Pastor Ronn Hobbs, of Full Gospel Tabernacle. “She teaches more than just recipes but also what it takes to prepare food safely and hygienically. She connects ethics and responsibility with food skills by requiring each student to be considerate of others who are in class before them and after them. She also carries an ongoing concern about those students she knows who come to school from a tough home life—hoping and praying for a change in their situation.”
Last year Joyce added to her duties by becoming a sponsor of the RHS Campus Christian Club. “Joyce was also one of the main reasons that the RHS Campus Christian Club was restarted last year,” continued Pastor Hobbs. “She organized faculty sponsors to join her in supporting the student leadership and offered her room as a place to meet, and out of her own resources she usually provides a quick lunch for the Club.”
“I have grown up going to church with her,” shared sophomore Billiann Robertson, a member of the Christian Club (see Billiann’s article on the Christian Club in this issue). “If there is one thing I could say about Joyce, it would be that she is one of the most reliable people I know. A true model of a strong woman.”
T.L. Reed principal Ginny Zalky stated that Joyce is a dedicated and compassionate educator. Ginny has known Joyce since 1999 when they both worked at Sheridan Elementary School. “Her faith, integrity, and prodigious work ethic are the foundation of her professional and personal life. Joyce has a deeply rooted respect for learning and has worked diligently to ensure that every student she comes in contact with is given educational opportunities that extend beyond the classroom.
“On a personal level, Joyce is a lot of fun,” continued Ginny. “She is adventurous and open to new experiences. She has a wonderful sense of humor and is a great storyteller. She has a teapot collection that is truly impressive.”
Joyce shared that she loves her work and doesn’t plan on retiring until she wakes up and finds she no longer has the passion for students and teaching. “The best thing about my job is the students and the variety of duties. My job is never boring and always challenging. The hardest thing about my job is balancing work, family and spiritual time.”
Check out our other teacher and school staff profiles in the Exceeding Expectations section.