Name: Tiffany Ballou-Glover
Where were you born and raised?
“I was born and raised in Gadsden.”
What is your occupation?
“I am a 6th grade language and reading teacher at Litchfield Middle School. I have taught for 25 years.”
What made you decide to work in your field?
“I have always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was a little girl. I remember helping the coaches in high school with grading papers, doing bulletin boards and calling roll. It seemed to always be in me to teach.”
Tell us about your family and pets.
“I am the proud mother of one daughter, Haleigh. She is a junior at Jacksonville State University.”
Describe an average day in your life.
“I am a teacher so many days and consumed with helping young minds thrive. I tutor two days a week at Adams Elementary. On the weekends, I enjoy sporting events, concerts and traveling.”
What school or schools have you attended?
“I am a graduate of Gadsden High School and Alabama State University.”
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
“My greatest accomplishment is raising my daughter by myself. She is growing into a great young lady and it makes me so proud to sit back and watch her shine.”
Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?
“My grandmother, Eleanor Williams, has influenced my life so much. She didn’t go to college and raised six children and one grandchild by herself. She was a hardworking woman and never took any handouts. She worked as a housekeeper at a local hotel before she died from cancer. One day I overheard her crying in her room. Before then, I had never seen her cry before. She had had a bad day at work and her boss talked to her rough. She called me into her room and made me promise her that I would get an education and make something out of my life that would make her proud. I think I have done just that.”
To what do you credit your success?
“I credit my success to hard work and determination. I didn’t grow up with the best and wasn’t really encouraged to do well in school. I was expected to do well, but not encouraged. I was determined to be a successful adult so I did what I had to do in order for that to happen. When the counselor at my high school didn’t seem to want to help me, I remember getting in trouble and contacting Alabama State University long distance to see what I needed to do to get a scholarship. Back then we didn’t have the internet, so the long distance charges on my parents’ phone bill got me a punishment.”
Are you involved in any service organizations?
“In addition to coordinating school programs, such as Black History, Homecoming and Brest Cancer Awareness and serving on various committees, I serve as a mentor and role model not only to the youth, but also to educators entering the field. I volunteer with The Salvation Army as a bell ringer collecting money. For the past four years, I have prepared and served meals to the less fortunate during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in partnership with Gadsden Team Leaders and Tanya’s Kitchen. I have coordinated toy drives through my school and have volunteered to collect donations and participate in the annual breast cancer walks. My greatest love is mentoring and torturing which is evidenced by my volunteer work at the Boys and Girls Club of Gadsden and continued service at Litchfield Middle School 21st Century Afterschool Program. I have also volunteered to establish and supervise a dance line at my school.”
What is your favorite thing about this community?
“My favorite thing about this community is the friendliness of the people and the beautiful landscapes and scenery.”
What would you like to see change in the community?
“I would like to see the community grow on both sides of the bridge. There is a lot going on in East Gadsden and Rainbow City, but once you cross the bridge into Gadsden it seems like a ghost town. I would like to see more businesses thriving in Gadsden, which would provide more jobs in the area.”
What are three words that describe you?
“Three words that would describe me are hardworking, dedicated and outgoing.”
What is something surprising that many do not know about you?
“Most people don’t know that I never attended kindergarten. I started school in the first grade. My mom taught me the fundamentals at home.”
What is your favorite quote?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss.
“I tell my students all the time not to allow their circumstances determine their destiny. I didn’t have the best childhood, but I use that as a motivation to be a great adult, mother and teacher.”
What is on your bucket list?
“I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. I have visited several cities and states but Hawaii is somewhere I dream to go.”
What is your hidden talent?
“I can actually cook, I just don’t anymore. I did years ago but stopped, so most people don’t even remember.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
“I am not sure who I would like to play me, but I would love for Tyler Perry to produce it.”
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
“I would tell my younger self to do a lot better in school. My grades were decent, but they were not the best. I worked so much with multiple jobs in college that my grades were not where they could have been.”
To nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-547-1049.