Where were you born & what year did you graduate from Foley High School?
-I was born in Mobile, Al, and graduated from Foley High in the Class of 1999.
Did you participate in any extracurricular activities? Were you any good?
-I was an original staff member of the Foley Hi-Lites (now Lion’s Roar) my Freshman and Sophomore years, where I was a features editor. I was a member of Ladies’ Chorus my Sophomore year, and Foley High School Sound waves my Junior and Senior years, Junior Class board of Directors, co-coordinator of the Talent Show my Senior year, and a founding member of the Peer Helper program. As for how good I was at them, I think I was pretty good!
Did you go to college, business, or technical school after graduation?
-I attended Spring Hill College after graduation where I majored in early childhood education, and graduated in 2005. I later went back and got my master’s degree in early childhood education, graduating in 2011.
What sort of jobs have you done since graduation? Do you have a favorite?
-Since leaving Foley High School, I have been an admissions officer worker, a Mother’s Day out teacher, a tutor, and a regular classroom teacher. I taught third grade and first grade at Summerdale for a few years, and I am now a pre-kindergarten teacher with the Mobile Country Public School System. My job as a teacher has been my favorite! In fact, a few of my former students are now students at Foley High School!
If you hadn’t become a ____, what might you have done?
-If I had not become teacher, I might have become a lawyer or a child life specialist with a children’s hospital.
What life lessons has adversity taught you?
-Adversity has taught me to never give up. My first two years of high school were difficult because of bullying, but it only made me that much more determined to keep pushing forward and just be me. But the real test came at the end of my high school experience. My only sibling, Justin (who was a member of the class of 2000), was tragically killed in a boating accident my senior year. Dealing with that as a senior made things harder than they might have otherwise been, but I knew that my brother would not have given up if he had been in my position. His death taught me that you don’t know what tomorrow holds, so it is vital to always keep reaching for you goals. Adversity has definitely made me a stronger person, and shown me what I am really made of!
What are one or two things you really miss about High School?
-I can think of a lot of things that I miss about high school, but the two that stick out are lunches in the cafeteria (we were able to buy enormous homemade yeast rolls that put Lambert’s rolls to shame and the food was actually really good!) and homecoming/spirit days/pep rallies! It was always fun to see everyone showing school spirit I also miss not having as many responsibilities as I do now!
Who was the person who most influenced you and how?
-I actually had three people who played a huge role in my life during my four years at Foley. Martha Howard, who was my journalism teacher, Mike Merold, who was a special education teacher at Foley High School, and Carolyn Bennett, my former chorus teacher my last two years, all showed me what good teachers look like. They all went above and beyond in and out of class to make sure I was as successful as I could be, and they are what I have modeled my own teaching style after.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
-I have always wanted to go to Hawaii
What is one thing you would encourage High School students to do before they graduate?
-Take time to make memories with friends, both old and new, get involved with at least one activity that will allow you to leave your mark at Foley High School, and enjoy high school- the real world is so much different from you think it is!
The best advice you would give a twenty-year-old would be?
-Work hard, play a little and don’t sweat the small stuff, because in the end, it’s all small stuff!
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Thanks for letting us get to know you, Erin, and best wishes from the Foley Lion’s Roar.