As teacher
In my professional career, I'm proudest that I was a classroom teacher for eleven years. In my opinion, there's not a nobler profession! My first year was my toughest-a high school English teacher in an inner city school. The kids were great to me, but I found the role overwhelming-completing paperwork for administrators, grading papers for hours at night, designing lesson plans that sometimes worked and sometimes didn't, etc., etc.,… Why do we come back for a second year? Because we love children…and because some of us feel that we were born to teach. I hung in there! And, yes, I'm glad that I did! I've taught all ages of children either in regular classroom settings or in university labs and clinics. Every grade and age has offered a unique adventure!

Oh, the Places You Will Go!

As Consultant

I left SCDOE in January of 1999 to become a fulltime freelance consultant. Right now I'm enjoying traveling around the US, Europe, and the Middle East, helping schools and districts build and strengthen their balanced literacy programs. What a grand journey it has been to meet such wonderful folks everywhere I go!

As Wife, Mother, and Grandmother

Husband, Ray, is newly retired from his state government job. I should say that he is “redirected” rather than “retired” as he has started a consulting company, dealing with heritage development. Ray is the product of a small SC town, St. Matthews, but has lived in the city since leaving home for college. He inherited his dad’s green thumb and yard skills and spends his spare time working in the yard (which is lucky because I don’t enjoy yard word…or housework, for that matter!) Also, he loves to cook and grill, which endears him to me since he grills or cooks just about every day! I’m really lucky to be married to my best friend in the whole world!

We are blessed to have three wonderful daughters—born, I might add, in alphabetical order A, B, and C! Right now magic number is 3—3 daughters, 3 sons-in-law, and 3 grandchildren. Here’s a little about them…

Our oldest daughter Ashley lives in Charleston and is a partner in Places Real Estate, Key Partners. (Need property in the Charleston area? Give her a call!) Son-in-law Chuck heads his family’s paving construction company, Truluck Construction. They are both Clemson University grads and remain avid Tiger fans. You might see them headed to the beach on the weekends in Chuck’s prize tiger orange jeep!

My adorable grandchildren in the Truluck household are Meg, age 10, and Charles, age 8. Meg swims competitively and aspires to be a singer in a rock band. Charles is a techno fan as well as a golfer. He’s also currently known for his ability to ask questions…endlessly. Both kids love water sports and snow skiing (the latter sport certainly doesn’t occur in Charleston, SC!). Granddog, Allie, a King Charles Spaniel, joined the family about a year ago.

Middle daughter Beth, a stay-at-home mom, lives in Greenville, SC, and is married to Hunter Freeman, a copyright and patent attorney. Beth puts her culinary degree to good use in the kitchen of their home, preparing food for our newest grandson. Wake arrived in July 2009. He’s a natural at swimming and currently loves “cruising” around the living room as he holds onto the furniture. (I love rocking this little fellow about as much as anything in the world!) In their spare time (which is virtually non-existent right now!), Beth and Hunter enjoy fitness routines, working on their lawn and garden, and taking care of their menagerie of cats and dogs.

Youngest daughter Caroline is our most recent bride. (I’m now out of the wedding planning business after getting all three girls down the aisle!) Caroline married Jarad Fields in a lovely ceremony (followed by a really fun party!) in the NC mountains in October 2009. They’ve since moved from Charleston to Columbia, SC, for Jarad to return to school. He’s also employed by USC as a computer tech. (He has saved my computer on so many occasions!) Caroline presently works three jobs, including an after-school program where she puts her studio art degree to good use. They love camping, gardening, and spending time with their dogs and cat.

Trivia Would you believe that I…

  • Saw Elvis three times in concert before his demise!
  • Spent my 50th birthday celebrating with friends in Eddie Rabbit's house on the beach at Kiawah!
  • Spent a great deal of time backpacking trails on the Eastern coast (but haven't had the time or inclination in a few years now!)
  • Love Cheetos (puffs, XO's, and crunchy-all good!).
  • Am a Buffet parrothead! Just love his music! I don't know how I would ever drive long distances without Jimmy traveling along with me-by CD, of course!
  • Cried the first time I saw the Grand Canyon-it was so awesome!
  • Am a castle-freak (just went wild seeing the great castles of Germany last fall!)
  • Have a fear of heights-but love flying! (Isn't that odd?)
  • Was once an Estecean. (STC-studied Samuel Taylor Coleridge with a group of others who all had fellowships).
  • Love books about medieval times, especially the Arthurian Legend. Mists of Avalon, which I read for the first time many years ago, is my all-time favorite. Another of my old favorites is Pillars of the Earth. What a story! One of my favorite writers is a Southern writer (imagine that!)-Pat Conroy. Prince of Tides (the book was sooo much better than the movie!) and Beach Music by Conroy are two examples of great writing-fantastic stories and poetic prose-just extraordinary!