Shonda Duncan became the Interim director of The Scott County Shelter Society on November 20,2017, after being asked by her fellow Board of Director members to accept the challenge.
Duncan had been on the shelter’s board for several prior to former Director Judy Liming’s resignation came months ago. Despite the years of experience, Duncan never expected to be serving as the Interim Director, however when she was asked to step up, she did.
Duncan is known by most people from her earlier career in law enforcement at the Oneida Police Department. Here she worked under the late Mike Cross, and later under Chief Darryl Laxton. During her career at the police department she advanced to a supervisor and specialized in Domestic Violence work. Duncan recalls loving her work as an officer, but 15 years ago being a female officer wasn’t very easy. She credits Cross and Laxton for helping her get to where she is today.
“Mike Cross pushed me hard. He didn’t want people to see me as a woman, because being a female police officer was different back then,” Duncan said. “Darryl also pushed me hard. He made me a supervisor, and took me way beyond where any female officer had ever gone before.”
Duncan began law school the same way she begins everything in her life, with prayer. According to her, she had been praying, and law school was God’s answer over and over.
With the blessing of Mayor Jack Lay and OPD Chief Darryl Laxton she left her job at the police department to begin law school at Lincoln Memorial University. While she attends law school, Duncan also teaches English as a second language.
Now in her last year of law school, Duncan is the Vice President of group named, Son’s of Justice and is involved with the Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries. Both groups have one thing in common; service.
Duncan has a service filled heart and believes the shelter is a great place to use her knowledge to serve others.
“I have a heart of service, so I was really excited when the board asked me to step in and help,” Duncan said. “I want to help here (shelter) in any way that I can.”
Before law enforcement and law school, Duncan is a wife, mother, and active church member. Her family and her church are very important to her, so naturally she was elated to receive their support as she stepped in as Interim Director.
“I’m blessed to have everyone’s support. I couldn’t’ do it without them, “Duncan said. “My husband told me to do what I felt needed to be done, and he would help me in any way he could.”
Although Duncan is just getting settled in as Director, she already has some thoughts for the shelter’s future. Number one on her list is community involvement. She wants to raise community awareness, so that no one fights alone. Additionally, she would love to see more volunteers at the shelter, because there is a long list of volunteer work available. Finally, finding more ways to raise funds for the shelter, as they are much needed.
Duncan isn’t sure how long her services as Director will be needed, but she is only taking two classes next semester, so that she can dedicate more time to being available. She feels blessed to be able to serve as the Director, and knows the position is a blessing from God.
“Before the Board asked me to step in as Interim Director, I had been praying for a blessing,” Duncan said with tears in her eyes. “They asked me to be the Director at the meeting, and I knew it was my blessing. I said to myself, Ok, I hear you God.”