While driving to class one day, something clicked for high school student Beverly Still. She always thought she was going to be an interior decorator, but her plans changed that day.
“One day I was driving to school in March going to my classes that morning, and I went ‘I’m going to miss high school so much,” Still said. “It was an epiphany. I thought, ‘I could be a teacher!’”
That epiphany turned into a 35 year-long career as a teacher in the Dothan City School System. She began at Beverly Middle School and retired from teaching at Northview High School.
Still said attending Wallace Community College – Dothan had a big impact on her career.
“I learned that it’s OK to laugh and be a real human while teaching,” Still said. “I definitely feel that my time at Wallace helped shape me into the teacher that I was for 35 years. There are not many nights that I don’t dream that I’m still teaching. In my heart I miss it.”
Still graduated from Ashford Academy before earning an associate in music from Wallace in 1981. She then went on to Troy University for her bachelor of music education, and later obtained her bachelor of education in English at Troy.
Still said she will always remember her instructors, Miklos Bencze and Dr. Madeline Lewis, for the impact they had on her while at Wallace. “The instructors were just awesome,” she said. “Miklos Bencze was my voice teacher. He was fantastic. He was so down to earth and he cared about all of us. He was such an inspiration.” As for Lewis, Still said she took every class she could from her.
“She was amazing. She just showed me a whole new way of looking at literature,” Still said. “It was in her British Literature class that I learned my favorite poem, ‘The Lady of Shalott.’ She read it aloud to us and I was mesmerized.”
Having been to Wallace, and working with high school students for years, Still said she would always encourage her students to attend Wallace.
“I have always encouraged my students to go to Wallace first. It’s such a great transition,” she said. “You’re not totally away from home. You’re staying local and learning what you want to do. I have recommended Wallace a thousand times to students, at least.”
As for keeping up with those students who she once taught, Still said social media has allowed her to watch them succeed and follow along in their journeys.
“I get a lot of joy watching their families grow and seeing all the little children and all the fun things that they do.” She said. “It makes me so proud and warms my heart. “
Still is also the author of “Sometimes You Just Have to Take Your Wig Off and Run in the Rain,” which she wrote in 2013 after battling breast cancer.