I met with Joyce Diserens last year, as she was approaching her 50th year of teaching. At that time, she pointed out that she had to make it through at least half the school year for it to count officially as her 50th year. She made it and, in fact, taught the entire year without missing a day of school—punctuating her milestone with a perfect attendance award.
The milestones keep piling up. She is in her 51st year of teaching, 50 of which she has spent at Madisonville. This March, she will work with her 54th student teacher.
When we last spoke, we were visited by one of her former students, Joeli Hardy, who indicated that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. This year, Miss Diserens is teaching Joeli’s sister, Jillian, a “first-class reader.” Many years ago, Diserens taught Joeli’s and Jillian’s father.
Today, much of her time is taken preparing students for state-required tests, but the paperwork hasn’t prompted extensive thoughts of retirement. “I’m not quite ready,” she says. “In March, I’ll consider my future plans, but I am still enjoying teaching, and I’m striving to get the students where they need to be to succeed.”