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Graduate Spotlight: Tisa Clancy

Posted on May 06, 2019

By Holly Walker

As a single mother, working multiple jobs while going to school, Tisa Clancy understands the importance of time management and balancing priorities. She also knows first-hand the rewards and challenges that come with being a mom, employee and student. And, despite those moments of feeling overwhelmed, when the weight of responsibility rested heavily on her back, Tisa never gave up. She persevered, and she hopes her tenacity, the skills she’s learned in life, and the knowledge she’s built with the help of John Tyler Community College will help her connect with the at-risk kids she most wants to help. 

Tisa grew up in a military family, and she, like her father, uncle, brothers and cousins, felt the call to serve her country. She served in the U.S. Army for eight years, and during her military service, she became a watercraft operator working with Special Operations, a position Tisa says was held by very few women. An injury forced Tisa to change course, and as she transitioned out of the military, she decided to move to Richmond to be close to her mother. With an interest in law enforcement, she enrolled in John Tyler Community College’s then-Police Science program and began taking classes while working two full-time jobs. The demands were tough, but Tisa kept pushing forward, transferring her Tyler credits to a four-year university’s criminal justice program. Her career goals, however, soon took a new direction. While working as a truancy officer, Tisa realized that instead of working with at-risk kids after they were in trouble, she wanted to work with them at an earlier stage in the hope of inspiring them and helping them avoid academic and legal problems. So, Tisa turned to Tyler once again. This time, with her sights set on becoming a teacher, she enrolled in the General Studies, Teacher Education (K-6) Specialization degree program. Tisa says she loved being back at Tyler, with its smaller class sizes and faculty and staff who knew her. Bolstered by her family and the support she received from faculty and staff at Tyler, Tisa graduated with her associate degree and is a permanent substitute at a local school, where she works with the special education program. “At Tyler, I learned how to be a better educator and how to better evaluate a student’s needs,” says Tisa. “Many of the professors at Tyler are in tune with the needs of their students and that taught me to look deeper into situations because things aren’t always as they seem.” Next year, Tisa plans to continue her education at the University of Richmond, and she one day hopes to open a group home and set up her own educational system. #Tyler2019

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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager


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