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Meet Judy

portraitMy role at Somerset Community College: I am Interim Director of Casey Center in Liberty, Kentucky located at 3609 N. U.S. 127. I also teach English 101, 102, and sometimes Eng 90, 91. Since Casey Center’s opening in January 2007, I have stayed busy with center activities, teaching English, advising students, and participating in civic activities. I serve as a member of SCC’s Administrative Council, and I am co-chair of Casey Center Crusaders. We Crusaders usually raise around $800 a year for The American Cancer Society. My participation in the local Relay for Life is rewarding and helps me keep in touch with local people who are not necessarily affiliated with the college.

How long I have worked here: Adjunct since 1981

Why I do what I do: Because I love SCC. When I graduated from Casey County High School, I thought I was going to attend SCC. My father told me that my 1960 Ford Fairlane was not dependable enough for my commuting five days a week from Yosemite to Somerset. I was heart-broken when he loaded me up and took me to Campbellsville College to live in the dormitory. After graduating in three years, I went back to Casey County High School where I taught for 32 years. In 1981 I began teaching one night a week for SCC at Casey High. Years flew by, and now I am still encouraging citizens of Casey County to further their educations. My mother was one of twelve children, and she always told me, “Get your education, because that is one thing that no one can ever take away from you.” I always struggled with exactly what she meant by that saying of hers, but I suppose she was stressing the importance of an education when I was very young and poor and never dreamed of going to college. I find myself telling people the same thing as I help them enroll and choose a field of study. For me, education was my escape from poverty. Somerset Community College is the best two year investment that a student can make, because the returns will last a life time.

My philosophy: Teach and direct with tender loving care, never assume anything, and always expect the unexpected.

I like our students because: Because they never cease to amaze me. Several of our students are just like I was when I was in college: poor, eager to learn, cooperative, and ready to be the first college graduate in their families. Our students are of all ages, ability levels, academic backgrounds, and temperaments. When treated with respect and genuine concern, most students will respond by putting forth their best efforts to learn and succeed.

A little more about me: As child, church and school were the most important things in my life. I lived on a farm with my parents and older brother where we worked from daylight to dark growing all of our food, except coffee and sugar. The four of us milked cows by hand, grew beef cattle and pigs, and vegetables. Mom and I canned 500 quarts and half gallons of vegetables every summer, while the men hand-picked apples, pears, corn, and blackberries. We had a cellar to preserve the potatoes, apples, and pears. We also had a smokehouse where the meat was preserved with salt. We dried apples in the sun and had these in gallon glass jars where we could use them in making dried apple pies. Hard work on the farm taught me to think critically to solve problems, to be self-reliant, and to be respectful of mankind, animals, and our earth. My favorite book is the Bible. I learned to read The King James Version at a young age, and I still read my Bible every day. From its verses I have found answers to many of life’s problems. I receive inspiration, comfort, and security from favorite chapters, verses, and stories. This sacred book is my most prized possession. My favorite authors are: William Shakespeare, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Flannery O Connor, John Steinbeck, and of course, Crystal Wilkinson. I read the same book several times, and each time I gain new insight into the characters and their circumstances. Reading has helped me see the world and its people from multiple perspectives. Professor L.M. Hamilton at Campbellsville College always told me, “Literature is life.” I cannot dispute his quote. My husband is Mike Sapp, a retired Colonel of The Kentucky State Police. We have been married 39 years, and we have two sons, Michael and Matthew. We also have a grandson, Tyler Matthew Sapp who was born on July 20, 2010. I am quite the teacher at home too. I taught my husband how to shoot a handgun when we were newly- weds. I had grown up skeet shooting with my father and my brother, and I assumed Mike could shoot a pistol before he got hired as a Campbellsville Policeman. We would go to Adair County to his parents’ home and mini-farm, where he literally shot the white plank fence down, before he got to be a decent shot. I taught my sons English, Spanish, reading, writing, how to water ski, and how to drive a car. Now I am teaching my grandson singing and reading. I am not a published author, but I have ideas for two books. When I retire and stay retired, I will begin my two novels. Life has been like a roller coaster with its ups and downs and unexpected turns, but with the help of family and friends, there is always a rainbow along with a promise from God.

Judy Sapp
Interim Director/English professor