Many TPSers know Mrs. Nikki Troxell from one of her myriad English and literature classes. If you haven’t taken one of them, then you most likely know that they have a great reputation. Students coming out of her classes are better writers and communicators for it. Any of them can tell you about Mrs. Troxell’s excellent feedback and fascinating lectures. She says she loves English because of how many ways there are to say the same thing and give it a different meaning every time. She is fascinated by the idea that we can touch each other’s lives for better or worse just by the way we communicate with them. When she set off for college at Bartlesville Wesleyan College to get her English degree, she wanted to be a writer. Post-graduation, she changed her mind and pursued teaching. She may have started on that career path to be more employable but she stayed because she found she loved watching her students improve so tangibly. Of all the places she has taught, she enjoys the uniqueness of TPS. Nowhere else would she have been able to apply both her faith and her skillset to one job.
Mrs. Troxell grew up in the church and credits her current relationship with the Lord to her parents’ faithfulness in bringing her to church as well as teaching and enforcing the lessons at home. When she wasn’t at church, Mrs. Troxell was helping with her family’s grain farm in South Dakota. It seems you can take the girl out of the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the girl, because, all these years later, Mrs. Troxell considers the prairie to be her favorite part of the country. Her favorite place she has been to so far is a beautiful national park full of red rock formations in Moab, Utah.
Today, Mrs. Troxell lives near Madison, South Dakota with her husband and their four children. They have a “geriatric” Boxer named Scooter and a Bearded Dragon named Puff. She teaches a lot of English classes and hopes that her students will come out of her classes with significantly improved communications skills. In today’s day and age, you simply cannot get by in the real world without good communication skills, which are exactly what Mrs. Troxell’s students get.
Finally, everyone spends far too much time comparing themselves to everyone else – especially students. As Christians, though, we have the forgiveness of Christ to cover any mistakes we make. It can be hard to come to terms with a bad test grade because that little lie in your head is insisting that everyone else aced it, especially in midterm season. Mrs. Troxell wanted to remind readers that your imperfections make you lean on Christ, so embrace them. The best you can do is the best you can do, so stop worrying about how everyone else did and be the best you can be. Happily, we have reached the end of the fall semester. From Mrs. Troxell and all of us here at clay: Happy New Year!