South Georgia sisters receive doctorates together - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia sisters receive doctorates together

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June 25, 2003

Nashville - Linda Johnson can't remember a time when she didn't want to be a teacher. "I always heard the stories about grading papers, and being with children, and never knew any different," said Johnson.

Her sisters, Barbara and Florence shared a similar dream. "I always knew I wanted to be an educator, and wanted to go as far as I could in my career," said Barbara Pettiford. "My philosophy was to help students do the best they could, and be the best person they could be," said Moffett.

These sisters are just three in a long line of educators born to Leroy and Florence Miles. "There are 11 of us kids, and 10 of us are in the education field," said Pettiford.

This weekend, the three will receive their doctorate degrees together from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. "It's something we all wanted to do together, as a family," said Moffett. "I'm so glad my sisters will be there to share it with me."

The sisters credit their success to their mother, who always wanted to be a teacher but had to work on a farm to support her family. "She couldn't have her dream, but she wanted us to have ours. Her encouragement and love for teaching made us inspire to live out what she couldn't," said Johnson.

Their parents died more than 10 years ago, but the sisters know they'll be looking down with pride on Saturday. "I've been thinking lately, and I'm sad because they won't get to see us graduate, but this was their dream for us, and we know they'll be there in spirit," said Pettiford.

After they receive their degrees, there will be six doctors in the Miles family. Three of their brothers have already received their doctorates.

posted at 3:30 by ashley.harper@walb.com