By Derrick Smith
Patricia Jolly says that she has someone that has had a big influence on not just her life, but also the lives of many others.
“Mrs. Lucas from Konawa has been a big role model for me,” she said. “She has always been my biggest supporter. Even today, when I feel like I cannot do something, I think of her and her encouragement keeps me going. She is an inspiration and there is probably not one of the former students that do not remember her.”
Jolly is in her seventh year of teaching at Ponca City High School. She currently teaches in the Career Tech department. She teaches ninth through twelfth grades in Multimedia and Image Management, Advanced Computer Programming, and Fundamentals of Administrative Technologies.
She has four children and four grandchildren, all of whom she is proud of. Talyna Morrison lives in New York with her husband. Samantha Dixon lives in San Diego with Patricia’s three granddaughters ages 15, 13, and 3. Dana Springer currently lives in Ponca City but will soon join her husband at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado. James Jolly lives in Ponca City with her four-year-old grandson.
While she loves teaching and impacting the lives of her students, it was not Jolly’s first thought when imagining her career.
“I actually wanted to be a police officer,” she stated. “However, circumstances took me in a different direction. Teaching was my second choice and it is definitely not one I regret. My first year teaching was at Talking Leaves Job Corps in Tahlequah. I then moved to Richardson, Texas, and taught for 10 years at Berkner High School, with RISD. I came to Oklahoma and taught one year at Dustin. Moved to Clewiston, Florida, and taught for the Bureau of Indian Education on the Big Cypress Reservation. Returned to Oklahoma and now I am at Ponca City High School.”
Patricia is currently working on her second master’s degree, Educational Technology MS from Oklahoma State University. Her first was from OU College of Law Master of Legal studies in Indigenous Peoples Law.