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Billye Johnson

The older I get, the more exciting learning becomes.

There may not be a more important skill in one's professional or personal life than the ability to communicate.

Through the written or spoken word, being able to clearly and concisely tell others what's on your mind, or, maybe, why you should buy your product over the competition's, is extremely important.

Enter Billye Johnson.

Johnson is an instructor at Collin College's Continuing Education department where she has taught creative and business writing since 1989.

Her vast and varied professional career includes stints in a public relations or communications role as a writer with EDS Credit Union, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, JCPenney and other freelance opportunities.

Johnson embraces the idea of life-long learning. She went back to college about 30 years after graduating high school and earned a bachelor of arts in journalism and public relations from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1997.

"I've been writing professionally for more than 25 years. Actually, if you count it from my first rejection letter at age eight, I've been writing something for over half a century. After years out of college, I decided to return for my degree," Johnson said. "I came across a quote some years ago that was particularly relevant: 'Keep learning. It keeps you young.' The older I get, the more exciting learning becomes. I love seeing people of all ages energized about trying new things and learning more about the world around them.”

It's this passion that Johnson brings to her classroom at Collin College. Her life experiences drive her to inspire her students to achieve what they might have deemed unachievable.

"On the last day of every class, I tell my students that they must e-mail me when they get published. I love seeing their bylines in newspapers and magazines. That is the biggest thrill for me. It makes each subsequent class even more exciting because I never know who will be the next published author," Johnson said. "I'm constantly amazed at the skill these students have with words. My students are the greatest testimonial I can imagine. I learn from them at the same time I'm teaching."