Alumni Spotlight

Marcia Slone Thompson, '81

By: Cody Davis, '17
April 20, 2015

The University of Pikeville has produced many civil servants and outstanding members of communities that give back in any way they find possible. Many of these people just happen to be educators, judges or the friendly neighborhood politician. With the recent announcement of the Patton College of Education, I thought it would be fitting to devote this month’s Alumni Spotlight to an outstanding educator, Marcia Thompson.
 
Marcia was born June 30, 1959, in the small town of Ary, Ky. Her childhood was spent in this town, which was not so far from Hindman, Ky. While growing up, music played an important role in her life. Her father was a music teacher and she was also part of the family band.  They dubbed themselves “The Slone Family Band,” and went to local music festivals playing bluegrass music. They were also twice chosen to play at the Grand Ole Opry.
 
In 1977, Marcia decided to attend what was then known as Pikeville College, because it was one of the few local colleges that offered a music major. She almost attended another local institution, Alice Lloyd College. But when arriving there for registration she learned they did not offer her preferred choice of major. She then packed up her bags and was led to the historic “99”. Her sister, Carolyn, who also attended Pikeville, decided to rent an apartment on Hambley Boulevard, and the two sisters commuted to class together. A few years later, Marcia met her future husband, Randy, who just happened to be her music theory tutor.
 
After graduating from Pikeville in 1981, she decided to go into the field of education. She taught for 31 years at local schools, inspiring children to find passion and explore their talent in music. Some of the schools that she taught at include Cordia High School and Knott County Central High School, both located in Knott County, Ky. While talking with her, she went into great detail on how she helped children discover their unknown talents and spread their musical wings. She also stated that the children inspired her as well. She said that sometimes students would come into her class with no desire or they would feel like school just wasn’t for them. After entering her class though, some of them would find a passion for music, which led them to do better in class and in life.
 
After retiring alongside her sister, who also went into teaching, Marcia decided that it wasn’t quite time to hang up the boots. Currently, she is a substitute humanities teacher for Cordia High School. She has considered starting a band program there, but has not decided if that is what is right for her and the school. She also owns and is president of WKCB 107.1, The Killer Bee radio station.
 
Marcia has also been successful in passing down the musical torch in her family. Currently, she has one daughter who is majoring in music education at Morehead State University. When I asked her about her thoughts in regards to her daughter’s decisions to follow in her footsteps, she said, “I’m glad she’s going to carry on the tradition as a music major.” That will make three generations of music teachers in the Thompson family.
 
Along with being a valuable asset to our Bear family, three of Marcia’s daughters are also invested in Pikeville. Her oldest daughter graduated from the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM), one is finishing up and close to graduating from KYCOM and the other is just about to enter KYCOM. “We’re very loyal to the college,” said Marcia.
 
She still visits the university frequently because of her daughters. She is marveled by the growth, and very proud of how far the school has come in such a short time. “Seeing the growth, progress and beauty of the campus gives me a great sense of pride. I’m very grateful for Pikeville, not only for the difference it made in my life but also for the blessings it has given my children,” said Marcia.
 
Marcia is a wonderful example of how the historic “99” steps has led so many to success.

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