Changing Dreams

Changing Dreams

Darla Wright works on a video project during OSMI 2015 in one of the iconic red OU phone booths.

By Jenny Mason

Fresh out of Nowata High School in the 1980’s meant a few things for Darla Wright: Big hair, a clean break from her high school sweetheart, and the dream of becoming a high flying American Airline stewardess. Fast forward 28 years to Darla as a mom of three, teaching high school English and journalism at her alma mater, and a calming personality that makes one feel instantly at ease.

At her mother’s insistence, Darla started on her associate’s degree at North Eastern Oklahoma College; however, her real dream was to become a stewardess. After her freshman year at NEO she made the drive to Dallas to tryout for American Airlines. When she arrived at the initial interviews, the first thing they told her was she had to cut her hair and gain five pounds, “Oh no! I can’t do that!” The 80’s were all about big hair, except for American Airlines. After the interview process it was back for her second year at NEO to finish her associates degree. During her last semester, her mother became ill and the dream of spreading her wings was forgotten.

With her associate’s degree in hand, Darla found a job in sales with a printing company. Along with caring for her mom and new career, Darla also married her high school sweetheart and had her son. After the birth of her daughter, she decided to stay home and opened a daycare. For 5 years, “Life was very hectic. The best thing about being able to work from home was the ability to be with my daughter and spending the last two years of my mom’s life at home with her before she passed.” During the time at home Darla remained resilient and then decided on a career path which would ultimately lead her to today.

As a journalism teacher, Darla’s career has come full circle, “All of the background I gained in my job in print sales really transfers over to teaching journalism and creating the yearbook with my students,” she said. While life has led in her a different direction then she originally had planned, there is nowhere else Darla would rather be.


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