GATESVILLE, Texas – We at FOX 44 News are honoring Remarkable Women in Central Texas to recognize the contributions to their communities.
Joy Moreno is a mother, wife, and a big member of her community – who has not let an autoimmune disease stop her from helping others. She is a Gatesville Independent School District teacher, coach and bus driver.
Joy is one of three identical triplets who has never been able to sit still.
“When I was in high school, I worked at Wendy’s. And if I wasn’t working there, I was a nanny for kids. And then on the weekends, I worked at the skating rink, or the bowling alley, or the snack bar,” Joy said.
Now as a mother and stepmother to eight children and three grandchildren – Joy hasn’t stopped.
“I’m actually a resource ELA teacher, and a coach. I coach girls seventh and eighth grade athletics at Gatesville Junior High, and then I also drive the school bus whenever I possibly can, in the morning or afternoon, depending on practice. And then I also drive other teams, like the high school wrestling team or the high school band, anywhere they need to go.”
Her days are busy, to say the least.
“I leave anywhere from 5:00 to 5:30 in the morning, and I might get back at some nights, 10:30, 11 o’clock at night,” Joy said.
Joy stays so busy – her husband Humberto follows her to work just to spend time with her.
“I follow the bus, because that’s the time I get to see her. While the team is performing, we get to see each other. Because it’s tough during the week,” Humberto said.
Humberto nominated Joy to be a FOX 44 Remarkable Woman, saying: “Coach Moreno does not let her immunocompromised condition [Lupus] slow her down.”
Joy reads what Humberto says, “Coach Moreno has a natural and infectious positivity that makes everybody perform at their best. Without a doubt, you have found the most remarkable woman in Central Texas. I am proud to be her husband.”
These are words that bring tears to Joy’s eyes, “Super proud. Humbled. I’m humbled by it.”
Joy was diagnosed with Lupus nearly a decade ago – and has since undergone 15 surgeries.
“I got to go forward, and be that positive. Because I know that’s showing others that you can go forward,” Joy said.
Joy says keeping busy and helping others helps her forget the condition.
“I go through it. I try the best I can. I modify whatever I need to do, and I just keep moving forward,” Joy said.
Joy hopes to inspire her students and show them they can do anything they put their mind to.
“And I just tell them, ‘I believe in you. From the day I met you.’ That’s just who I am, and I love it,” Joy said.
As for the future…
“I don’t think she’ll ever retire, to be honest with you. I mean, retirement should come at one point, but I don’t think she’ll truly retire,” Humberto said.