The People of Blount County – Tammy McMinn
Funny how life just plants you in one place and you find out it’s exactly where you need to be. This is the case today with Tammy McMinn, residents of Blount County. Tammy was born in Colorado, raised in Tallassee, and moved to Blount County when she worked in the Cullman County community in Fairview and her husband worked in Ragland in St. Clair County.
Because it was halfway between their two jobs, the family settled in Blount County. After all, it seemed like a good, safe, and nurturing community. That was in 1999, and now over 20 years later, there’s no doubt that’s where they were meant to be.
Tammy and her husband Mike recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. They are the parents of five beefy boys, all of whom are over six feet tall. With only one son at home, Tammy and Mike will soon meet the world of empty nests. It’s going to be a big adjustment. But, at this point, Tammy’s biggest challenge so far has been adjusting the food portion for just three of them. She remembered the massive amount of food teens ate when they were all at home.
From childhood to adulthood, Tammy turned to helping children. And although she had no intention of pursuing a career in education, looking back, she realizes that this was her destiny.
Tammy had a somewhat misguided view growing up. She was a good student and believed that good students should become doctors or lawyers, not teachers. This misconception was brushed aside after Tammy woke up one day that made her realize just how big a impact a teacher can have on a student. From that moment on, she set herself the goal of becoming a teacher.
Since the start of her career in Blount County, Tammy has worked in the county and city school systems. Tammy praises both systems and noted that growing up in a community like Blount County makes her heart smile. Tammy served as Assistant Principal at Locust Fork Elementary, Susan Moore Elementary Principal and English and Spanish Teacher at Susan Moore High School before returning to her most recent position at Oneonta City Schools as Assistant Superintendent.
Tammy has just started her 23rd year of study. She is not ready to retire as she still has a strong desire and a lot of energy to give, help and support the staff. Tammy is also a National Board Certified Teacher and has chosen to pursue her doctoral studies. Tammy’s desire is for earning a doctorate to help her become stronger in her position.
Even though Tammy is now in administration, the interests of the students are still very much present in her daily activities. Tammy always has a desire to help students get involved in extracurricular activities, even those who are out of their comfort zone. OCS recently organized an art competition in which all students could participate. Tammy encouraged as many students as possible to submit a work of art. Some submitted their very first entry, and while not all received awards, all were winners in Tammy’s book.
Additionally, Tammy is an advocate to help students find and secure scholarships that are available to them. Showing her support for students can have a huge impact that she recognized all these years ago.
Tammy has been fortunate enough to travel overseas with some of her students. In all, she has traveled to eight countries. Most students will tell you that they prefer London and Paris, and while these sites are beautiful, Tammy finds the five small towns on the Italian coast, southern France and Barcelona to be her most valuable places to visit. . Tammy also appreciated the time before cell phones were stuck in the hands of students. His list of things to do for future trips is to visit Greece and enjoy all of its beauty. Even though Tammy has had the opportunity to taste foods from many different cultures (Italian is her favorite), she admits that American cuisine is still her favorite.
Outside of her academic responsibilities, Tammy previously worked as the Director of Children at First Baptist Oneonta, as well as with the Youth Football Program. Being with the children and supporting them in a positive way is important to her, whether it is related to school or not.
As Christmas approaches, Tammy can’t wait to reunite with all of her boys home. With a post overseas this can be a challenge at times, but she is grateful that it is happening this year.
When it comes to Christmas traditions, the family has always had a living Christmas tree and this year will be no exception. Other family traditions include asking each son to choose an ornament each year. Hallmark thanks her for her support as she has an insane amount of ornaments to collect. Plus, the family hangs stockings every year and decorates homemade sugar cookies from a recipe her mother used while growing up. On Christmas Eve, the family attends a Christmas service together.
To add a little more fun, there is always a dirty Santa game with his sister’s family. It’s a fun time for the family to get together, be silly, laugh, and create unforgettable memories. And that’s important to Tammy.