everyone has the determination or the bravery to chase their dreams.
But, Scottsburg Elementary School teacher Trisha Riley does.
Riley was a little girl, she dreamed of being an elementary school
teacher. However, her dream did not become reality until much later in
life — after she graduated high school in the top 10 percent of her
class, after she started a family, after she finished college, after she
started working on her master’s degree, after she drove a school bus
for 12 years, and after she spent time as a special education aide for
“…I began to look at the future more,” Riley said about
the point where she decided to chase her dream. “Is this really where I
want to be in five years or even 10 years down the road? The answer was
With hard work and determination, Riley made her dream come
true this school year after being hired as one of Scottsburg Elementary
School’s newest teachers.
“I have learned that with a lot of hard
work, dedication and passion I have accomplished something that was only
a dream in the beginning,” Riley said. “But isn’t that where it must
start in order to be pursued? [A] dream becomes reality if a person
works toward it. If I can do it, I know others can also.”
with her hard work, dedication, and passion, Riley had some
encouragement from another Scott County School District 2 teacher, whom
she considers her mentor.
“Carolyn Nowlin gave me the inspiration I
needed to pursue my passion for teaching. She gave me great
opportunities to learn every chance I could take. She allowed me to do
lesson plans and made me feel like I was a part of the classroom,” Riley
said. “…Carolyn advised me to go back to college and get my teacher’s
Nowling was not the only person to encourage and help Riley as she pursued her lifelong dream.
had such a big support team from friends and family to the teachers at
Scottsburg Elementary,” Riley said. “The teachers took me in and allowed
me to complete my teacher observations. They answered my questions and
supported me the entire way.”
As a working mother, Riley needed some help at home when she needed to study or attend classes in the evening hours.
“My mom, Polly Higgins, and my stepdad, Mike Higgins, were a huge part of my success,” Riley said.
all the long hours at work, at college, and at home with her two
daughters, Riley’s journey to reach her goals has paid off. She
encourages others to pursue their dreams.
“Don’t let anyone tell
[you] that [you] can’t do something because anyone can do anything when
they put their mind to it,” Riley said.
Riley’s example of never
giving up on her dreams is an inspiration to others. At Scott County
School District 2, Riley’s story is our story. Your story matters. You