Agent, Public Service Associate, UGA Extension – Candler/Emanuel counties
Master of Education – Troy University, 2005
Bachelor of Science – Georgia Southern University, 1997
National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
Georgia Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences
Epsilon Sigma Phi
My family and I reside on the Candler (Metter) Bulloch (Statesboro) line. My husband, Jeff Dekle, has been employed with Bulloch Fertilizer as Turf and Specialty Division Manager for 13 years. We have been married for almost 17 years. My daughter, Marley is eleven years old, attending sixth grade. She loves basketball and softball. My son, Seth, is 7 years old, attending second grade. He loves baseball, basketball and piano. They all bring much joy to my life.
How long have you been working with Extension?
I actually began my Extension career in 1999 as secretary in Candler County. I eventually decided to leave Extension to teach elementary school in 2002. I taught in the public school system for five years. The Family and Consumer Sciences agent retired in Candler, creating a vacant position. I began my journey with Extension as an agent in November of 2007.
What originally attracted you to Extension work and what would you say is the best part of the job?
During my years as a secretary, I worked closely with Mary White, Family and Consumer Sciences agent. I was interested in the diversity of her programming and her ability to help people of all ages in so many different areas of life. She amazed me, and she still does. No matter what questions were asked, Ms. Mary knew the answer 98 percent of the time. Every once in a while she might have to find the answer, but she always knew where to find it. She is still by far one of the smartest, classiest ladies I know. The best part of my job is that it changes daily. There is so much variety in what we do and that makes things interesting.
Can you tell us about any role models or inspirations you might have?
The most influential people in my life were my parents. They taught me to work hard, be honest and always hold on to my faith. I was the first in our family to earn a college degree. This meant the world to my daddy. He worked hard to provide me and my siblings with opportunities that he did not have as a young man. I came from humble beginnings and I can say that makes me appreciate things more. What I appreciate more than things are relationships, good ones are true blessings.
Any favorite books or movies?
"Plantation" by Dorothea Benton Frank is my favorite book, but I also love "The Notebook" by Nicolas Sparks
My favorite movie for years was "Top Gun," but it has been replaced with "American Sniper."
What has been your proudest moment as an Extension agent?
I was at a health fair and a young lady I did not recognize approached me. She began explaining the influence I had on her as a high school student. She told me that she never had anyone explain values, goals, relationships and healthy choices until I stepped into her classroom. She told me that I helped her more than I would ever know. She was now a college student pursuing a career in nursing. It was a humbling experience. It is great to win awards and achieve promotion status, but it simply doesn’t compare to changing lives.
What are some of your hobbies or favorite activities outside of work?
My family! We ride bikes, play board games, watch movies and play sports together. The beach is my “happy place”. Being at the beach with my family simplifies life and helps me reflect on the true treasures in my life.
If you weren’t an Extension agent, what other line of work do you think you would have pursued?
I would have pursued a career as a flight attendant.