Judy said her Parkland instructor, “Lynette Trout had such a passion for women’s sports. She is the reason I went to Parkland College and into teaching/coaching. She inspired me to start high school fast pitch softball programs at Melvin-Sibley and Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley.”
After completing her degree at Parkland in 1981, Judy continued her education getting a both a Bachelor of Science, 1983, and Master of Science, 1990, from Eastern Illinois University.
Now, after 31 years teaching Health, Driver Education, elementary and high school Physical Education, and high school coaching in varsity volleyball, basketball, softball, and golf with the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley School District, Judy retired this past May.
She earned many, many awards and recognition during her teaching career, the most recent include receiving the highest award a driver education teacher can receive, the 2016 ADTSEA (American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association) Teacher Excellence Award - only teacher in Illinois to ever receive this award; 2016 IEA (Illinois Education Association) Friends and Advocate Award for GCMS CUSD#5; 2016 IHSCDEA (Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association) Teacher of the Year Award; 2012 General Motors National Safety Council Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award; and IHSCDEA Hall of Fame in 2007.
Under her leadership in Driver’s Education for the Gibson City School District, (www.gcmsprojectignition.weebly.com) the program received numerous awards including 2014 and 2015 Operation Teen Safe Driving 1st Place in Springfield, IL (which no Illinois school has received twice); 2011 National Leader School in Traffic Safety Project Ignition; 2010 National Leader for Best Impact on Teen Driver Safety Award; 2008 Rural Youth Traffic Safety 1st Place in country presentation and awards ceremony at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C; and 2006 Project Ignition National Champion “Best of Best” in Philadelphia, PA (GCMS teen safe driving program received $10,000 for 1st place in the country.) These are just a few among a multitude of others throughout the years.
Judy’s most memorable moment at Parkland was “…being selected Most Valuable Player and First Team All-Conference in 1981 for Mike Marlow’s softball team. Attending Parkland College was the best decision I ever made.”