Alumni Spotlight Amanda Reagan Schieffer
GSD is proud of the accomplishments of our graduates and their triumphs of success. We are pleased to spotlight one of our prominent alumni each month within our District newspaper, the Communicator. Our alumni are distinguishing themselves across the country, carrying our values of commitment and concern for others on their life journeys.
This month our aiticle will note the achievements of 1995 graduate Amanda "Reagan" Schiefer, the youngest daughter of the three girls of Rai1dy and Ronda Schiefer. Her sisters, Rivers Schiefer Phillips and Ryan Schiefer,join her in congratulating her parents on forty-six years of marriage! Her emphasis upon the impo1tai1ce of her family is seen in her statement, "I am special because I am Jay Randall Schiefer's mom!!! He is my biggest success! He turned 3 years old on 8/23/16."
Reagan is currently an Endocrinologist at the Diabetes and Endocrine Center of Mississippi in Jackson, Mississippi. An Endocrinologist is a physician that specializes in diagnosing and treating hormone imbalances of the endocrine system, basically a "gland doctor." The most common endocrine disorders are diabetes and thyroid disorders.
Many influences helped to prepare Reagan for her work in helping and healing others. One of the most profound effects upon her life was the influence of her grandmother. She states, "I cam1ot stress enough the importance the presence of my grai1dmother, Dorothy Mitchell Crane, was in building the person I became. She was born in 1927. She contracted polio in her adolescent years. Although she was crippled, that handicap never hindered her. She graduated from college at a time when women simply did not go. She was the strongest and most brilliant woman I have ever met. However, her best quality was her heart. She was a born again believer, and I owe my Christian foundation to her witness. I spent a lot of Friday nights going out to dinner with her and her widow friends ai1d playing Rook or Dominos until the wee morning hours. There was lots of wisdom spoken, and I was a sponge."
Growing up in Grenada provided experiences for her that solidified relationships and made connections with friends ai1d family. "With Grenada's small town atmosphere, most of my time spent was with family, friends, and at the ball fields. In those days, we sat down and ate supper with our parents. There were no cell phones, and I still remember lots of my friends' home phone numbers without looking them up."
Reagan graduated from the University of Mississippi, Summa Cum Laude, with a BA in Physics/BA in Biology and was the recipient of the Taylor's Medal. She achieved her Doctor of Medicine Degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she completed her Internal Medicine Residency. She completed her Endocrinology Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
She credits many of her GHS teachers for the core of her academic success. "The teachers I had during my Grenada years molded me ai1d made me want to be better. Educators are the backbone of our society. Folks can take your worldly possessions, but no one can take your education."
She remembers several of her teachers as being outstanding educators. "Rena Dantone, Nancy Bomar, Eddie Anderson, Jack Holliday, David Daigneault, Delores Scarborough, and Carol Leverette are some of the really greats I only wish
I had an "MEA'' grammar book from which Rena Dantone taught. The self-discipline taught during my marching band years was not truly appreciated at the time. However, that learned discipline carried me to the top of my class in medical school."
Her former job experiences also helped to shape Reagai1's future, as she used each example to foster learning life lessons. "While in college, I worked part time at a flooring store, J&L Carpets, Inc.," Reagan reminisces. "Even there, I learned hard work pays off as my bosses, Jeff Oliphant and Lee Cobb, were not only the owners, but also the installers!
Reagan has wisdom for our current Grenada students based on her educational accomplishments and work experience as a physician. She confers two outlines for success:
1. Choose your friends VERY wisely. I read an article with the following: "The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. They either help us to become the best version of ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves. We become like our friends. No man becomes great on his own. The people around them help to make them great."
2. Delayed gratification is always worth it. Hard work always pays off. Keep your eyes on the goal.
Reagan's life voyage from a small town and a loving community forged the foundation for the realization of her educational and professional goals and have defined the path for her life. She describes her course by saying, "I do not have any elaborate places I have been or things I have done. However, I love my life. I am so blessed. I have a wonderful, loving, and supportive family. I have friends. My dad always told me: 'If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.' I am grateful that I am a physician and that patients trust me to take care of them. I definitely do not know all the answers, but I do truly care."
Taking time from her medical and professional obligations, Reagan offers a quote from Mark Twain to proffer counsel for GHS students. "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."