Throughout her 26 years, to date, as a teacher, administrator, and association leader in Kentucky and Florida in school districts and community colleges, Beverly McMurtry Grissom has pointed toward her dedicated colleagues and spirited students as special sources of inspiration. She has rich memories of her first adult education students in Louisville, Kentucky and how courageous they were. Despite their poverty and violent environment, they rose above hopelessness and attended school, searching for a better life. For a few hours daily, their lives were orderly, safe, productive, focused, and enlightened. She writes, "I am blessed to have experienced them and am proud of the progress, both cognitive and affective, that we made together. I learned much from them about the beauty of diversity and multiculturalism, the negativism of ethnocentrism, and the value of inclusiveness." Most of her early students are now middle-aged. Her hope is that the lessons they learned while together have influenced them as positively as they have her. Dr. Grissom considers those many students as "the centerpiece of my legacy."
She has worked in state professional associations to unify adult, community, and continuing educators by leading the creation of the current state organization which represents the field. Her voice, and the voices of her colleagues, now unified and stronger, is clearly heard by the legislators. She helped write the legislation for increased funding for handicapped adult students. Her work to connect the national professional association with state and regional affiliated resulted in revitalized collaboration which will enhance efforts to communicate the importance of adult and continuing education in strengthening the fabric of American and global society.
Notes Dr. Grissom, "I am thankful that my career path led to this special corner of education. I am honored, humbled, and inspired that my colleagues deem my work worthy of recognition by my induction into the Hall of Fame."
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