Amy Martin’s Vincent roots run deep. Not only did she attend Vincent schools for her entire education, but her parents did as well. She now teaches special education at Vincent Elementary. Her father was a math teacher and coach at Vincent High School for 25-plu years, and the Harold Garrett Stadium is named after him. Her mother taught every grade except kindergarten and retired as the assistant principal at Vincent Elementary School. She lives in Harpersville with her husband, Shawn, a 1993 graduate of VHS, and their sons, 16-year-old Keith, 15-year-old Zack and 11-year-old Griffin.
Q: Why did you want to go into education?
A: Growing up, I didn’t want to be a teacher. I saw how hard my parents worked and how they took their jobs home, worked all summer, etc. I vowed that I would never be a teacher. Here I am though. I couldn’t escape it. I knew that not only was I supposed to be a teacher, but I was supposed to be a teacher at Vincent. This is my mission field, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Q: When were you a student at your current school?
A: I started kindergarten at Vincent Elementary in 1981, and I graduated from Vincent High in 1994.
Q: What is your fondest memory of your current school, either as a teacher or student?
A? I have so many fond memories from Vincent Elementary that it’s hard to pick a single favorite. A highlight would definitely be in my interview. Dr. Tricia Corbett was my PE teacher when I was in elementary school at VES, and she has always been someone that I looked up to with great regard. When I graduated from college, I got a job teaching at Montevallo Elementary. As soon as a job became available at VES, Dr. Corbett called me and asked me if I wanted to come home. In my interview, we both cried. That is a special memory that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Other special times are when former students come back to visit me. When I teach these kids, they are in second or third grade. It is always good to follow them as they grow, and I love it when one of them surprises me with a visit and a hug. Makes my day. I have a board in my classroom called “Jacket Pride” where I post pictures of my kiddos in high school. Seeing them grow up and become success stories is my greatest accomplishment as a teacher.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: I love every single thing about my job. I love teaching where I went to school. I love the amazing people that I work with. I love my kids here at Vincent. I love our parents. We are the best-kept secret in Shelby County. I am so blessed to be a part of the Vincent Schools.
Q: What has teaching taught you?
A: Teaching has taught me that you are never, ever finished learning. I learn something every day. Teaching has taught me that you don’t have to go overseas to the jungle to be on a mission field. Teaching has taught me that every child is somebody’s baby and should be treated that way.
Q: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
A: If I could talk to my 18-year-old self, I would say record your grandmothers. Video them telling you about their childhoods. One day you will miss everything about them.
Q: If you could meet any famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
A: If I could meet any famous person who is alive it would be Joanna Gaines. I love her story and I love watching her show Fixer Upper on HGTV. I’d like to shop thrift stores with her, and let her decorate my house. If I could meet any famous person who is dead, it would be JFK. He’s my favorite president and I am obsessed with all things Camelot.
Q: What is the one place in the world you would like to visit and why?
A: If I could visit anywhere in the world, it would be the Holy Land. I would love to walk the streets where Jesus walked.