Sister Support System

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Lisa & Kim

Associate of Arts in Teaching

A Family Tradition

These sisters share the same car ride, the same classes, even the same lunch. And when one was hit by a medical emergency recently, one sister was there to help the other.

Lisa Lafferty and Kim Cunningham are working side by side at the OTC Richwood Valley Campus to achieve their dreams of becoming teachers.

Lisa, who lives in Elkhead, plans to teach elementary school; Kim, a resident of Bruner, is considering either teaching elementary school or middle-school math.

"She had been here one semester already, and I decided that I needed something for me and my kids too," explained Lisa. "I came up here one semester by myself, and the next semester we started going together."

Kim and Lisa are working together to earn their Associate of Arts in Teaching degrees, and intend to transfer to Drury University.

Balancing their home lives with their classes keeps the sisters busy.

"I am a mother of three boys," Lisa said. "My husband works nights, and I go to school full time and babysit on the days I'm not at school, so there's not a lot of downtime."

Studying together allows them to help each other when a class comes more easily to one of them.

"It's great if you don't know what you're doing, and the other one takes good notes," Lisa said. "We try to help each other out," Kim added.

Kim helps Lisa with her math courses, and Lisa helps Kim with her presentations.

"I can put the PowerPoint together, but she helps with adding the words where the words need to go... and jokes! She's Miss Comedian. She can put something together that's really funny," Kim said.

Last February, Lisa discovered another unexpected benefit to having her sister in school with her when Lisa experienced a medical emergency.

"I had an unexpected appendicitis attack. It was so great to have her help, because she was here when I wasn't. She picked up my assignments, she talked to the teachers... that was such a relief," Lisa said.

"We have that support from one another because I know that her education is so important, and she knows that my education is so important. Having somebody that I know is in my corner is just the greatest thing.

"She had been here one semester already, and I decided that I needed something for me and my kids too."

Sister Support System: Photos