By Sherry Mills
“Follow the yellow brick road!” became the constant instruction Dorothy heard as she followed her quest to find the Wizard of Oz. She wound throughout the countryside, making friends and learning lessons as she went, and all the while she had one purpose to find.
Molly Buckley, educator for McArthur-Lawton High School, has found her way “home” to her heart’s desire and likes what she has discovered.
Being the second oldest sibling prepared Molly for greater responsibilities. Her father passed away when she was four, leaving her mother to raise her family alone. Molly remembers her mother working hard, a quality that was obviously instilled into Molly and her siblings.
“All four of my siblings and I have college degrees,” Burkley said. “Mom worked two jobs to make ends meet. She also believed in no sob stories or complaints, and so, there wasn’t any.”
Later on, after college graduation, Molly found herself at loose ends. She felt like life had come to a crossroads. Tentatively, the decision to take a job in Houston had been made when a new twist in life presented itself. She met Gary, her future husband-to-be, at a friend’s beach party.
“ I had to make a decision. Go or not to go to Houston?” Burkley said. “I thankfully decided to stay and further the relationship with Gary. He has been the love of my life for 31 years, and he has all of my heart.”
Married life cured Molly’s uncertainty about her future. She and Gary, a college professor, had two daughters, and they are both college graduates, too. One is married, but no grand babies have come to the Buckley’s as yet.
“I told them I was ready whenever they are for babies,” Molly said. “They have told me that after I retire will be the magic time for all of those things to happen.”
After her children were away from the home, Molly became alternatively certified to teach Spanish. She also has yearbook and now newspaper to fulfill her time. She finds the transitions between her Spanish classes and journalism to beat quite hectic.
“ My Spanish classes are always being interrupted because of yearbook. It’s like they are Dorothy’s house in the middle of the tornado, and yearbook throws the chaos around and around,” Burkley said.
However, Molly’s love of family overcomes the downsides of her crazy schedule, and she said that her school children are her children too.
Thus, that brings her road to her present commitment to attend the OSMI workshop to better her school newspaper. She knows that online is the way to go, and her heart is that things be done with excellence at her school. However, she is quick to add that her family will always be her first love.
“Family is my real focus. I am so in love with them and always will be and even my dog Barney will attest to that!” Burkley said.