Name: Tabitha Bozeman
Where were you born and raised?
“I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, but have lived in Gadsden/Etowah County since I was five years old.”
What is your occupation?
“Higher Education;I teach English at Gadsden State Community College.”
What made you decide to work in your field?
“I was always a bookworm growing up, and English was my best subject. I knew I wanted to do something with it, but it was after several English instructors and professors made a difference in my life that I realized I could help others and work in a field I loved.”
Tell us about your family and pets.
“My husband Jason and I live with our four kids, three dogs and three cats on Noccalula Mountain. Jason also teaches English and theatre, and each of the kids is named after a famous writer; we are pretty nerdy. Lake, almost 16, is our resident computer genius; Addie, 8, loves math and crafting; Sylvia, 5, is super girly AND loves the Transformers; and Olivia, 3, is possibly the funniest, huggiest three-year old on earth.”
Describe an average day in your life.
“During the school year, we get up early so we can get all the kids fed, three girls’ hair fixed, then it’s out the door to our four different schools. Jason and Lake are off to Southside High School, Addie and Sylvia to Southside Elementary School, Olivia to Lil Spotted Zebra preschool, and I am off to Gadsden State. In the evenings, we have dinner together and do homework, watch movies, play card games and read. In the summer, not much changes except Jason and the big girls man the 105.9 FM Rock Lounge, and we go on more family fun drives.”
What school or schools have you attended?
“I have a very eclectic educational background. I attended Walnut Park Elementary for a couple of years, was home-schooled, spent one year at Disque Middle School (now Gadsden Middle), then went to Westbrook Christian for high school. I started my college career at Gadsden State and then completed my BA in English at Jacksonville State University. From there, I did an MA in English at University of Alabama at Birmingham and I am currently working on my doctorate from Sam Houston State.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“Surprise, surprise – I love to read and write, as well as enjoy the scenery in our gorgeous county. Jason and I also love to take the kids on day trips to see literary and historical landmarks. We have been to battlefields, libraries, churches, famous authors’ homes, dams, and more.”
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
“This is a tough one; there should be categories! Personally, surviving and learning from abusive relationships and then finding an amazing partner for life. Professionally, getting through the first two years of this doctoral program, and having the honor to serve my colleagues as division chair.”
Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?
“There is no way to choose only one. But I will credit the many strong women in my family and life for teaching me many important skills and lessons.”
To what do you credit your success?
“Refusing to give up, and when I want to give up, surrounding myself with those who refuse to let me.”
Are you involved in any service organizations?
“I have been involved in my church, the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, with LeadershipEtowah, and as volunteer at local nursing homes, among other things. Right now, I am enjoying teaching my kids about giving back as we explore various ways to do this as a family.”
What is your favorite thing about this community?
“My favorite thing is the opportunities I have had to see people come together as a community when others need help, as well as how incredibly beautiful it is!”
What would you like to see change in the community?
“I would like to see more awareness and understanding in our community of mental health issues, as well as support for those affected by them and who have loved ones affected.”
What are three words that describe you?
“This is nearly as tough as choosing one influential person. I will have to go with empathetic, determined, and realistic.”
What is something surprising that many do not know about you?
“I also lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, as a child, close to White Sands Missile Range, where I remember seeing space shuttles land and playing in the dunes.”
What is your favorite quote?
“My current favorite is from Margaret Atwood: “In the end, we’ll all become stories.” It makes me consider how I write my own life story and contribute to others’ stories.”
What is on your bucket list?
“Several literary stops overseas and publishing some books.”
What is your hidden talent?
“Propagating succulents. The tiny jade plant from my grandmother’s collection several years ago is taking over my kitchen with all the cuttings I have made.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
“Definitely Melissa McCarthy. Or, that really funny Chewbacca mask lady off the Internet.”
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
“Keep reading! Read everything. Keep standing up for the kids getting picked on, because you never know who needs that little bit of encouragement to keep them going. And remember, we will all be just a story one day – be a good one.”
If you would like to nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, email email@example.com or call 256-547-1049.