Life sometimes takes twists and turns, leading us down paths we don’t expect. Such was the case for Katrina Myricks. An instructor in the business and office technology department at Holmes Community College’s Ridgeland Campus, she had not planned to teach.
“It was not my first career choice, but sometimes the call to do something is a lot stronger than one can resist. Coming from a family of educators, the last thing I wanted to do was teach,” she says.
“My career path in high school was to become the first African-American female sports broadcaster in Mississippi. I started out as a broadcasting major at Holmes Junior College in Goodman and changed my major to computer information systems.”
The Durant native is the daughter of Bobbie Jean Lokey and Jimmy Huggins. She attended Holmes Community College on a basketball scholarship and later earned degrees from Delta State University and Mississippi State University. With her job for Mississippi Power & Light company, she was involved with their Stay-In-School program, which led to leaving the company and doing what she has enjoyed for the past 23 years — being an educator.
For Myricks, watching her students have the “aha” moment is the most fulfilling thing about teaching. “I get excited when they get the concept of what they are learning, seeing how it fits into the real world, and putting it to use,” she said. “But overall, it’s having the opportunity to touch so many lives on a daily basis and seeing the success each student achieves as times passes. I like it when students send me an e-mail or call me after they’ve left Holmes to let me know they appreciate what I did.”
However, teaching isn’t the only facet of Myricks’ life. In 1992, she was crowned the first African-American Mrs. Mississippi USA. She also placed as a finalist in the Mrs. USA International Pageant. “Being recognized by the Mississippi House of Representatives as an outstanding individual representing the married women of Mississippi and traveling the state as Mrs. Mississippi USA promoting my educational component was indeed something I will never forget,” she said. “My educational three-fold component focused on drop-out prevention, higher education and nontraditional training for women.
“Being Mrs. Mississippi also brought many more positive long-term elements in my life such as public speaking opportunities, modeling in and around the state of Mississippi in print and/or television.”
Being a positive role model for younger women was another good thing that came from her reign as Mrs. Mississippi USA. “I wanted to have an impact on a lot of females and promote education,” she said.
Myricks was one of the Mississippi Business Journal’s 50 Leading Business Women for 2013. On the questionnaire for that honor she confessed to being a ‘biker babe.’ “You know you do have to be careful about what you print, don’t you?” she responded when quizzed about her biking activities. “My husband loves to ride his Honda Goldwing, and across the years I have learned that I enjoy riding, as well; not on my own bike but with him. We love to load up and ride for a day or even a weekend. It gives us great quality time together.”
This busy wife, mother and college instructor has also found time to work as a movie extra for movies made in Mississippi — A Time to Kill, The Chamber, O’ Brother Where Art Thou? and served as a stand in for Lela Rochon in The Chamber. She used the hours of waiting around sets to read and grade papers. “I would do it again. Once you’ve done it, you know the ropes. It was very interesting being behind the scenes and then seeing it on the big screen,” Myricks said. “In addition, I met quite a few famous people along the way.”
Myricks is a recent breast cancer survivor, something many people do not know about her. She is using the experience in a positive way by speaking to groups about it.
For 27 years she has been married to Ken Myricks, and they are the parents of a beautiful 12- year-old daughter, Kaitlin. Spending time with family, including their dog, Koko, is how she likes to spend free time, along with reading and working in the yard.
Looking ahead to retirement, Myricks would like to be a motivational speaker or talk show host.
“I served as co-host of the locally produced Geno Evans show that aired on WLBT as a pilot talk show years ago. Being involved with the show gave me a bug that is still there, and I would like to see where it can go in the future,” she said.
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