Alumni Profile: Emilee (Bolduc) Wills, Class of 2003

As a student at Henderson State University, Emilee Bolduc Wills was featured in the admissions catalog to help recruit students, and she pitched for the softball team. In fact, she met her husband, Josh, who pitched for the Reddies baseball team.

The couple lives in Siloam Springs with their two sons, and Emilee is adjusting to working remotely for her students while supporting her parents’ cafe during this time. Take a moment to learn more about alumna Emilee Wills.

 When did you graduate, and what was your major?

I graduated in Spring 2003 with a BSE in Kinesiology.

 Why did you choose Henderson?

I met Coach Fred Parker at a summer softball tournament after my freshman year at Central College in Pella, Iowa.  He talked me into transferring to HSU to play ball.  A bonus to my transfer was that I would be five hours closer to home. 


Who were your best friends while attending Henderson, and are you still friends with them today?

Rose Campus, Kristy Lyn, Leslie Wiesner – Yes, we are all still friends.
I was also a Phi Lambda Chi little sis and those boys forever changed my life! 


Who were your favorite professors?

Dr. Leggett was awesome, and Dr. Woody Jolley was a riot.

Dr. Hal McAfee was very tough, but knew what he was talking about.  He challenged me tons and I will forever be grateful for him pushing me to always be better and think outside the box. 

What is your current occupation?

I teach 1st & 2nd grade physical education at Allen Elementary in Siloam Springs.  This is my 16th year, I have just under 700 students.  I teach in my hometown and love every minute of it.   

How did Henderson prepare you for your career?

It gave me the opportunity to decide if teaching was the profession for me, and then it provided me with the tools I needed to become successful.  

What is your favorite memory of Henderson?

I don’t have just one...I loved playing ball, I loved watching baseball.  I loved floating the Caddo.  I loved backroading.  I loved my P.E. people, we all became so close the last two years. 


When’s the last time you have been on the Henderson campus?

I haven’t been back since I graduated.

 What other job do you think you’d be really good at?

I think I’d be really good at running a restaurant.  I have always worked in food service; plus my mom owns a restaurant in Siloam.  It’s just sort of natural to me.

How do you relax after a hard day?

I love anything that has to do with my two children JP, 16, & Nolan, 14.  They are big time into sports. There is nothing better than sitting in my chair watching them do their thing.  I also like sitting on my bottom after a long day, maybe even a glass of wine in hand, while I play catch-up on my favorite TV shows.  

Who do you admire the most, and why?

I admire my parents the most.  They are the hardest working people I know.  They are so giving of themselves, and they never give up regardless of what is going on around them.  They are my best friends and I couldn’t imagine not being a part of their lives on a daily basis.  We live on the same property “family compound” and I couldn’t be happier. 

What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?

God’s plan isn’t always my plan, and that I need to remain patient. 

What are three interesting facts about you?

1. I was the daughter of a gunsmith growing up. (He is now retired.)

2. I married Josh Wills, a fellow HSU student, now UPS driver -- twice!  (Second time's a charm!)

3. I once had a dog, Gidget, that had megaesophagus, which means her throat didn’t work. We had to feed her in a high chair, hold her upright after feedings, and we even had to burp her.  She died of lung complications which is common for dogs with this disease.  We had her for just over a year before she passed. 


If your life was a book, what would its title be?

Southern Sunshine w/a Splash of Wine

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?

Is it too cliche’ to say “Be Nice?” I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we are doing that we lack tolerance and compassion for others.  We are short-fused and have a hard time giving people the benefit of the doubt.    

What have you been doing since the Corona Virus outbreak?

I’d like to say I’ve been spring cleaning … but, I haven’t.

Professionally, I have been playing with Google classroom, creating P.E. lessons, making brain breaks that allow children a minute to move, re-energize, and process what they have just learned through movement, and sending dances to our students.  We are all online at this point, so I’ve been navigating online teaching for my kids. 

I am also helping my mom in her restaurant with to-go dinner orders.  She is a breakfast and lunch-only restaurant, but we felt like providing a dinner option would help both our community and our business.  (If you are in the Siloam Springs area, please check out Cathy’s Corner!  Shameless plug #supportlocal)

As for myself, I just got two new puppies and am enjoying every second with them. Oliver the pomchi and Boone the chihuahua are both under 3 pounds and are full of life.  They are giving us a big splash of sunshine during this tough time of uncertainty and social distancing.  

As a student at Henderson State University, Emilee Wills was featured in the admissions catalog to help recruit students, and she pitched for the softball team. In fact, she met her husband, Josh, who pitched for the Reddies baseball team.

The couple lives in Siloam Springs with their two sons, and Emilee is adjusting to working remotely for her students while supporting her parents’ cafe during this time. Take a moment to learn more about alumna Emilee Wills.