People of Etowah – Tiffany L. Gladden


Name: Tiffany L.Gladden

Where were you born and raised?

“I was born at Decatur General in Morgan County, Ala., but raised in Etowah County.”

What is your occupation?

“I am a middle school teacher at Emma Sansom. I have been teaching 18 years.”

What made you decide to work in your field? 

“I decided I wanted to be a teacher from an early age. The deciding factor was watching my little sister struggle in school. She basically “fell through the cracks.” I knew then I wanted to make a difference in the education field.”

Tell us about your family and pets.

“My parents are Gary and Marie Gladden. My dad is a retiree from Goodyear. My mother is a homemaker. My little sister Lyndsey passed away March 15, 2017 due to chemo complications, at the age of 30. I also have a beautiful little girl, Zaney Gladden, who is six years old and attends Mitchell Elementary. She is most definitely the biggest blessing in my life! I have seven cats. The oldest, Little Girl, is 20 years old.”

Describe an average day in your life.

“My average day consists of teaching seventh grade Reading and Language Arts. Anything after that usually involves my daughter’s activities.”

What school or schools have you attended?

“I graduated Etowah High School in 1995, and graduated from Jacksonville State University with my education degree.”

What do you like to do in your free time? 

“In my free time, I like to plant flowers, online shop, and spend time with my little girl.”

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment? 

“My greatest accomplishment was having my little girl at the age of 36! God blessed me with a healthy and smart child.”

Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?

“The most influential person in my life was my Pawpaw, Wade Gladden. He fought in World War II and had three Purple Hearts. He wasn’t just my Pawpaw but was like a second dad in many ways. He always backed up his advice with what the Bible said. My Pawpaw was full of love and always prayed for people.”

To what do you credit your success? 

“I credit my success to love. I love my students unconditionally. When students are in my care, I treat them just like I would treat my own child. My hope is they will carry the love and care I gave them throughout their lives.”

What would you like to see change in the community?

“In this community, I would like people to invest more time and care into the educational system. The children are our future of the community. Adults need to re-evaluate the way they vote, and instead of voting for a particular political party, vote for officials based on their goals and what they can actually do for this community and school system.”

What are three words that describe you?

Determined – I have not let life trials suffocate my drive and focus;

Considerate – I always try to care for others the way I’d like to be cared for;

Infectious – I try to spread love and happiness wherever I go.”

What is something surprising that many do not know about you? 

“Many people do not know I had a teaching career in Georgia for 13 years..”

What is your favorite quote?

“My favorite quote is ‘You get what you get…and don’t pitch a fit.’”

What is on your bucket list?

“I have always wanted to go up in a hot air balloon!”

What is your hidden talent?

“I can actually cook really well! It’s just easier to eat out.”

If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you? 

“I would definitely want Reece Witherspoon to play me!”

What advice would you give yourself as a child?

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

To nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, e-mail or call 256-547-1049.

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