Dr. Debra Croley, Optometrist
Dr. Debra Croley grew up in the southeast Kentucky town of Williamsburg. She graduated summa cum laude from then Cumberland College. Her outstanding leadership and community service led to her commission as a Kentucky Colonel.
At the University of Houston College of Optometry, Dr. Croley was the first female to be selected by the faculty as Outstanding Clinician. As a student, she worked in a busy vision therapy practice, learning techniques to help children overcome vision problems that interfere with learning. After graduation, she practiced in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where she participated in investigational studies and panels about various contact lenses and solutions while building one of the largest contact lens practices in the Metroplex. By providing optometric services for members of the Dallas Mavericks and Sidekicks, she developed an interest in sports vision. For a portion of her time in Texas, she served as Adjunct Associate Professor of UHCO.
In 1997, Dr. Croley returned to Kentucky, practicing in Williamsburg and London. She particularly enjoys working with children and senior adults, and hopes to soon incorporate vision therapy and sports vision into her practice at LONDON EYECARE, which she established in late 2010 with Dr. Ball to better serve their patients.
Since moving back to Kentucky, she volunteered in classrooms and with the academic team, girls basketball, tennis and choir at Williamsburg High School. She has taught Sunday School and been active in the local Baptist Associaltion. Although health and time constraints have prevented her from participating recently, she is passionate about serving with Disaster Relief.
Dr. Croley has long considered parenting her 'full time job.' Her two daughers currently attend universities in Kentucky.
Dr. Nola Ball, Optometrist
Dr. Nola Ball was born in Whitley County, Kentucky. Her parents were William and Lois Ball. Although both were teachers in the Whitley County School system, she and her siblings attended all twelve years and graduated from Wiliamsburg High School. "Mom told us it was enough to have to deal with us at home. We were NOT going to school with her."
While at Williamsburg, she was active in many clubs and activities including Beta Club, band and the only sport available to girls at the time, track. She says she was "way too pudgy to run or jump, but growing up in the middle of five brothers and sisters, I had a pretty good throwing arm. You never knew when you might need to throw a tomato or a punch." She represented WHS in shot (think small cannonball) and discus at state championships, earning titles in each.
After high school, she attended Cumberland College, graduating magna cum laude and obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and minor in chemistry. There she worked as a lab assistant for the microbiology and biochemistry labs and earned a brown belt as a member of the national ranking judo team. "Yet another sport where I could throw things....well, throw people."
She then attended the University of Houston College of Optometry. Why optometry? "I think my friend from first grade Dr. Croley told me all that optometry had to offer. And convinced me. Or maybe she just needed a ride to Texas!" Dr. Ball completed an externship at Martin Army Hospital at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1982.
Since earning her Doctor of Optometry degree, she has practiced in Dallas, San Antonio and Amarillo, Texas, then finally realized how much she missed Kentucky. She moved back to Kentucky in 1996 and opened a practice in London. Since returning home she has participated in Remote Area Medical volunteer events and has donated examination equipment to an eye clinic in Romania.
A few years ago, Dr. Ball was honored to be inducted into the Williamsburg High School Hall of Fame. She and Dr. Croley outgrew their space and moved to their current location on Thompson-Poynter Road in London in 2010.