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Joyce grew up in Allen Park, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Inspired by her 5th-grade teacher, she told her parents, at age 10, that she wanted to be a teacher. Following graduation with a degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University, she began her teaching career in the fifth grade. She received her master’s degree and administrative credential from California State University at San Jose and served as an elementary school principal. During her time as a teacher in California, she met and married Bob Rankin, currently a Senator, SD8
In 1995 Joyce and her husband started a computer technology business in Aspen, Colorado. At the time they were the only computer support in town. The startup business began when Bob purchased and installed computers for second-home-owners. Joyce, a certified Microsoft Office User Specialist, and an experienced teacher taught Microsoft Office and email programs as if the clients were first graders. The business quickly grew from two to twenty-two employees and included smaller website startups and high-speed computer rental time for tourists.
After learning how to campaign and win elections Joyce followed, then Representative Rankin, to the Capitol where she was a Legislative Aide for four years. Because of local proximity, most Aides at the Capitol come from the Denver area. Because she felt the rural students in House District 57 were missing out on a unique opportunity, she started an Intern in the Field program. Eleventh graders that are recommended by their government or social studies teacher can be a part of the program. During the legislative session, they are required to write weekly reports and send them electronically to the Capitol, informing Representative Rankin of important issues in their community. Their reports contain information from attending County Commissioner meetings, City Council meetings, or getting information from local newspapers, interviewing elected officials and community leaders or attending and reporting on community events. Interns must cite their resources and cannot plagiarize. If they miss one report or plagiarize, they are released from the program and understand this when they sign up. Additionally, they must visit the Capitol once during their legislative session internship.
Joyce had to step down from the position of Legislative Aide, by law, when she accepted the appointment to the State Board of Education for the Third Congressional District. She continues to serve in this position having been elected in 2016. She will be up for reelection in 2020.