- Special Sections
- Public Notices
After more than three years, Carroll County finally has a 4-H Youth Development agent at the Extension office.
Former Grant County 4-H Youth Development agent and Grant County Schools’ veteran Joyce Doyle took the reins, starting Aug. 20.
And not even a car wreck could keep her away from coming back for day two.
Doyle was on her way home to Williamstown after her first day when she said a woman came across the line and hit her, totaling her car and forcing it off the road and over an embankment. Thankfully, Doyle walked away without a scratch. “It was pretty scary, but the good thing was Mr. and Mrs. Lewis had brought me a watermelon as a welcoming (gift), and it was in the front seat. It fell and I thought it had ruined it, and it hadn’t. So I got home and I told the wrecker guy I had to get my watermelon out of the car, took it home and we had watermelon, so at least I ended the day good,” she said with a laugh.
Doyle graduated from Grant County High School in 1962. She earned her bachelors degree from Morehead State University, her masters degree from Georgetown College and her Rank 1 administrative degree from the University of Kentucky. She and her husband, Nelson, have been married since 1970. They have one daughter, a son-in-law and four granddaughters.
Doyle worked for Grant County Schools for 38 years in a multitude of different roles, including teacher, director of pupil personnel, basketball coach, cheerleading sponsor and middle school principal. She retired in 2003 as the Grant County High School principal.
But she wasn’t ready to quit working, so she became the assistant 4-H agent. When the position came open, she applied and served as the 4-H agent for the past five years. In that capacity, she started a natural resource environmental classroom and was coordinating 54 project clubs, including wood science, small engines, crotchet, robotics and 12 animal clubs. “You name it, we pretty much had it,” she said.
Children participating in 4-H are divided into two categories: Clover Buds, 5-8 year-olds, and 4-H, 9-18 year-olds. Including the fourth andfifth-grade school clubs, Doyle estimated there were about 2,200 students participating in activities, with about 700 of them involved in the project clubs. “It was a really good program,” she said. “Grant County [doesn’t] have much to offer as far as extracurricular things outside of the school, therefore it was a neat thing for parents to get their kids involved in, where they could learn some skills and have something to do at night after school.”
So why the decision to re-locate?
“I am just a person who likes to see things develop and grow … and I felt like Grant County was as big as it probably was going to get,” Doyle said. “I had 54 wonderful volunteers that taught every month, and then volunteers that did other things. … It was just at a point where, of course everything can improve, but I felt like it had grown as much as I could see it grow. So when Carroll County came open, I knew (former 4-H agent) Mandy (Parker) and I knew what a great program she had here. I would just like to see it back like she had it, since there hasn’t been an agent for three years. I just saw an opportunity to come in and start the program and get it back up to how she had it. I’m just a person that likes a challenge. I don’t like to just sit, so that’s why I asked for the transfer.”
While she and her husband live in Williamstown, they are thinking about moving to Carroll County in the future. “Since the first day on the job, I totaled my car; it was kind of an awakening call,” she said. “But I do, too, believe that living in your community is an important part of being associated with it, and I definitely want to get to know the people.”
Doyle said everyone she has met so far in Carroll County has been very welcoming. The Extension office held a reception for her Tuesday, Aug. 28, and about 40 people attended.
“I really just feel like it’s family here,” she said. “The three ladies in this office are absolutely wonderful, and then last night at the reception, everybody was just so nice and welcoming. There was a district board meeting after that, and they were very complimentary, so I just feel really, really good. Even on the first day of the job, the mayor came and welcomed me to Carrollton. It just felt, really, like I was wanted. It’s a good feeling.”
Doyle was involved in numerous organizations in Grant County, including the Chamber of Commerce and the Williamstown Kiwanis Club. She also is an active member at Williamstown Christian Church. She said she is interested in joining some clubs in Carroll County, as well. “To most people, it would probably be a boring life, but it’s a very exciting life because I don’t sit still.”
Besides working, Doyle said her first hobby is spending time with her grandchildren. “Family is real important to me,” she said. “My husband portrays Abraham Lincoln, so I go with him somewhat around the state while he does that. Really, as far as hobbies I guess, I just love children. I love watching them, I love watching them be happy, I love watching them grow as they learn new things. So anytime I can do something with children that is kind of where I want to be.”
Doyle is a self-proclaimed five-year goal setter. “I love seeing things come to fruition,” she said. “It’s just the best feeling, and so I get really excited about that and excited about just starting things. I like to see things started and then ride it out to the finish line.”
Her biggest hope for Carroll County’s 4-H program is to get involved with the schools and teach lessons in the classroom. She said the Family Worship Center has called and asked about a babysitting clinic, and a home-school group also called.
“My big thing is to do what the people of Carroll County need,” Doyle said. “Of course, they know more about what they need than I know just coming here. I would just put out there if you want a program, call me, especially for youth, and let me know. I’ll be glad to set up anything that they want.”
4-H teaches in seven different areas: communications, leadership, animal science, family consumer science, health, natural resources, and science technology and engineering. Doyle said she believes 4-H is important because of the positive influence it can have on youth. The four H’s stand for head, heart, hands and health.
“If you just take care of those things ... use your head to learn new things and your hands to help people, and your heart to just be loyal and treat people fairly. And, of course, take care of your health and eat right and exercise – and don’t get into drugs and alcohol. It’s just very important,” she said. “That, and too, it teaches a lot of leisure-time activities that the children can take and use throughout their entire life. I just think it’s just an all-around program that will definitely, definitely better the future of our children.”
Doyle encourages anyone interested in 4-H to call her at the Extension office at (502) 732-7030 or to come visit.
She said she would like to start a teen council that would help teach the younger children.
“I just think it’s really, really important to get the teenagers involved, because they’re such great role models for our younger children,” she said. “There are two programs in our 4-H, one is on bullying and the other is ‘Health Rocks.’ The teenagers go in and teach that curriculum to the younger children, but they have to get certified in those things, so I’m going to try to get some teenagers together. If anyone is interested in that, give me a call.”