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WC Spotlight - LeAnne "Le" Shepard

WC Spotlight - LeAnne ShepardName:  LeAnne “Le” Shepard

Position:  Adjunct Psychology Professor

Hometown:  Chico

How long have you been at WC?  I started teaching here in August of 2015, but I’ve been a part of WC much longer. I earned my associate’s degree at Weatherford College Wise County in 2009 while we were still in the old Walmart.

What were your previous jobs?  In addition to teaching, I am a licensed professional counselor intern and I see clients at Wise County Christian Counseling. Before my daughter became ill, I worked at Wise Choices Pregnancy Resource Center in Decatur as the Youth Education Director. My favorite thing there was working with pregnant and parenting students in our local high schools. I also did counseling practicum placements at UBH Denton and Irving Family Advocacy Center.

What is the best part of your job?  I love talking to my students. I honestly get excited when they come by my office hours or stay after class to ask questions. I try to make the lessons I teach applicable to the outside world, so it’s great when they start telling me how a class concept relates to their personal lives.

What are your favorite things to do when you are not working?  I enjoy Jeeping, camping, mixed martial arts, writing and road trips. I also stay active with my church and volunteer with the PCDH19 Alliance.

What was your favorite vacation?  Our family went on a road trip through several states to celebrate my graduation last year. We saw beaches, mountains, caves and a wild black bear. After many years in school, it was great to relax and explore with my husband and kids.

What event helped shape your life?  When my husband and I were fostering the children we would eventually adopt, our daughter started having seizures. She was later diagnosed with a rare, genetic disorder called PCDH19 Epilepsy which causes seizures as well as behavioral and cognitive issues.  I was still in school when she got sick so we had to make a lot of changes to accommodate her health needs and my career plans had to shift. I think understanding how hard it can be to balance family and school has made me a better teacher though. I consider it an honor when students come to me for advice or an understanding ear because their lives outside of the classroom are making the work more difficult.

Who is the most famous person you have personally met?  I met Reba McEntire when I was a teenager because I was the sweetheart in a riding group that performed in her hometown. Unfortunately, I had accidentally dyed my hair hot pink the day before so we were up all night trying to get my blonde back, and my mom insisted I wear an awkward hat for the entire meeting.

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How would you describe the activity level of campus life?  I often see my students come to class early so that they can spend time hanging out or studying together. On Mondays, Baptist Student Ministries provides free lunches and everyone enjoys sharing a meal.

Why is campus life important?  I think that the more support you feel on campus, the more likely you are to keep coming when life gets hard. Everyone struggles at some point during their education and having a good network of people who you can lean on often makes the difference. 

Where does WC rank in affordability to students, in your opinion?  WC is much more affordable than a university.  I feel good about that because I know many of my students are working hard to pay their own way through school. It is great that our tuition is low and we have so many financial aid options available.

How would you describe the individual attention students receive at WC?  The individual attention my students get is the best part of Weatherford College. Many of my students are first-generation college students or are returning after some time away from school. The classes I teach are small enough that I notice if someone is missing or if grades start slipping. I have time to get to know my students and work with them to reach their full potential.

I think that the smaller classes and the chance to really get to know your instructors makes a big difference as you acclimate to college. I always tell people I don’t think I would have been able to go all the way through graduate school if I hadn’t started in Decatur. I needed help to get my footing. I try to work with my students like some of my teachers worked with me back then.  

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