Miranda Lambert with Janice Caldwell and April Coker
Miranda Lambert was born in Longview, Texas and raised in Lindale, Texas. Her father, Richard Lee "Rick" Lambert, is a retired police officer who in later life became a private investigator in partnership with her mother, Beverly June Lambert. Her parents took her to a Garth Brooks concert when she was nine and this started her interest in country music. Her father wrote and performed country music and she soon began singing in talent contests under his tutelage.
At age sixteen, Lambert began appearing on the Johnny High Country Music Reviewin Arlington, Texas, the same show that helped launch the career of LeAnn Rimes. Lambert quickly landed a recording session in Nashville, but left the studio after she became frustrated with the "pop" sound of music. She then went back to Texas and asked her dad to teach her how to play guitar so she could write her own songs.
Since then, Miranda's already prolific career includes two number one albums, various Country Music awards and an uncanny drive to continue to suceed.
April Coker holds a Master's degree in Educational Administration as well as a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from the University of Texas at Tyler.
She began her 26-year teaching career in 1982, teaching high school science and English. In 1990, she was selected to develop an alternative program to assist students at-risk of not graduating in getting their high school diplomas. Her students were able to work at their own pace and get more one-on-one help from the teacher. She has been selected as district Teacher of the Month, and served for over ten years as a faculty council representative to the superintendent. April is currently president of the Texas Association for Alternative Education, affording her many opportunities for networking with educators across the state of Texas. She recently obtained a position as a disciplinary alternative school coordinator for Mabank ISD.
She’s been married to her husband Jimmy for 30 years and has two children: Matt, 26 and Natalie, 21. Besides attending Miranda Lambert events and working at her store and winery in Lindale, April enjoys spending time with family, writing, reading, and hunting. Her first book was published by Publish America in 2006: "I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas: A Holiday Survival Guide."
For the past thirty year, Janice Caldwell has been a high school speech and debate teacher. She is a pastor's wife of 42 years and the mother of two speech/debate coaches - Jason Caldwell and April Caldwell. My husband Robbie and I have 5 beautiful grandchildren - Alex, Destiny, Abby, Bryce and Cameron. I have an MA from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. Janice was chosen as the National Federation of High School Teachers National Speech/Drama teacher of Year in addition to receiving the Denius Excellence Award and named as the Lindale Teacher of the Year. Janice also teaches dual credit speech classes for Tyler Junior College and received the National District Chair of the Year in 2005 from the National Forensic League. This year, she was chosen as the Region VII Teacher of the Year for the state of Texas.
Janice has a profound connection to her work and students: “I absolutely love teaching and as I look back on my career, I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to teach. I knew from the time I was a child I wanted to teach because I admired my teachers so much. Every year I sit in every chair before the first day begins and I pray for the students who will be in my class. I pray they will know I love them, that I will teach them and I will help them be the best they can be. My motto in the classroom has always been, "winning isn't everything, wanting to is." If a student can look me in the eye and say I did my best, they can never be a loser. It is amazing what they can accomplish when they know we believe in them. Thank you for honoring teachers. I know what a difference mine made in my life and I am thrilled that Miranda chose me as making a difference in hers. “