Who's Who of Professional Women


Joy Dyer-Raffler

An expert in special education and competitive tennis player for a decade, competing in singles, mixed doubles and girls team, Joy A. Dyer-Raffler was aware of what her father was doing growing up and saw that he really enjoyed his career very much. She feels she was influenced in that way. Her family is very much into education, and her brother graduated from college when he was just 19. He was a huge influence and a very good example of many things. Ms. Dyer-Raffler most recently worked as a teacher of exceptional education within the Tucson Unified School District from 2003 to 2005. She first joined the district as an art educator in 1970, remaining in this role for five years before moving up the ranks to special education teacher from 1975 to 1989 and diagnostician from 1989 to 2003.

Prior to the start of her career, Ms. Dyer-Raffler pursued a formal education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1969. She then matriculated at the University of Arizona, where she attained two Master of Education degrees in secondary education in 1974 and special education in 1976, respectively. In addition, Ms. Dyer-Raffler is certified in special education, learning disabilities, emotional handicaps and art education.

A den mother of the Cub Scouts of America in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 1968 to 1969, Ms. Dyer-Raffler has maintained involvement with the Arizona Education Association, which takes the lead in advocating for support of Arizona’s public schools, improving the quality of public education through positive change and improving the professional lives of teachers and school staff members. In honor of all her accomplishments, she was awarded a grant by the Tucson Unified School District in 1977. Likewise, Ms. Dyer-Raffler was selected for inclusion in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the West and Who’s Who in the World.

For those looking to pursue a career in her field, Ms. Dyer-Raffler advises them to find out which area of education works for them best and love it as much she did. It was right from the get-go; students would want to sit with her at lunch. Ms. Dyer-Raffler’s students have kept in touch with her as best they can since being in her classes. It is so hugely rewarding to hear later on how much she meant to them. It was such a wonderful blessing for her that she had gotten into education. It was so very important in her life, and made her feel so happy and appreciated.


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