Travel plans in store for math professor after retirement

by NICOLE TRUGILLO //Editor-in-Chief

Finding a dream job may be tough for some people.

But it wasn’t hard for a Canyon native who found her dream job at South Plains College.

Pat Foard, professor of mathematics, grew up around Canyon and Amarillo. She later moved to Oklahoma, where she attended Davis High School in the Arbuckle Mountains.

“I graduated from Oklahoma,” says Foard. “So, I went to college at the University of Oklahoma and received my Bachelor’s of Science there.”

Foard didn’t know she wanted to be a teacher. In fact, she didn’t even pursue her teaching career until after she decided to get her master’s degree.

“I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in math,” explains Foard. “But I didn’t think I wanted to become a teacher. I worked in an office for a few years, and that’s when I decided I wanted to go back and get my master’s.”

Foard worked in a Cablevision office in Amarillo. She worked with new accounts, processed payments, and dispatched the service men and installers.

Foard received her Master of Science Degree at West Texas State University in Canyon. After she received her master’s, she worked as a graduate assistant. That’s when she decided she liked teaching.

Foard eventually moved to Levelland and taught math for three years at Levelland Junior High School.

Pat Foard in her office in the Math Building on April 7. CHESANIE BRANTLEY/PLAINSMAN PRESS

“I was in Littlefield for one year and Levelland for two years,” explains Foard. “When I was in Levelland, that’s when I came to SPC and applied. I taught for one year at night and when the college had a full-time opening, I got the job here.”

Foard teaches college algebra, statistics, trigonometry, and nursing math. She is currently residing in Levelland, where she has lived for 32 years. She says that she has decided to retire because of health reasons.

“I have a disease called fibromyalgia,” says Foard, “and it just means it causes me a lot of pain.”

Fibromyalgia is a disorder marked by widespread pain all over the body. Studies and researchers have found that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way the brain processes pain signals.

“[The disease] has been really bothering me through the last year,” Foard says. “It’s the only reason why I’m retiring.”

Foard says that she used to own a scooter. But, unfortunately, it wore out.

“I don’t have a scooter right now, since it’s worn out,” explains Foard. “But I rode it to school for many years.”

Foard has a passion for rock n’ roll. She says that Ozzy Osboure is an idol of hers.

“I really love rock n’ roll,” explains Foard. “In recent years, I have seen Ozzy Osboure, Metallica, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, and Alice Cooper. I was really excited to get to see Ozzy a few years ago. He has long been one of my idols.”

Foard plans to travel after her retirement, though she doesn’t have any trips planned.

“I have always wanted to see more of the United States,” says Foard. “I also have several hobbies I enjoy. I quilt, embroider, work with stained glass, and really enjoy reading and going to movies.”

Foard says that she doesn’t have a particular favorite moment of her years at SPC. But, she explains that she is going to miss the students and the people she has worked with the most.

“When I came here from junior high, I just thought to myself that I have died and gone to Heaven,” Foard says with a laugh. “I really enjoy when former students come back and talk to me about what they are currently doing. It just seemed where I wanted to be. When I did receive the job, I knew for sure this is where I wanted to be. Once I started here, I knew I wouldn’t want to leave.”

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