Shelby County’s shining star

It’s Christmas time again and my mind wonders back to the sound of Christmas carols, the smell of hot apple cider from the cafeteria, leaves falling on cobblestone streets and the quiet ambiance I knew in my first years in Shelby County.

Those first four years were spent at the University of Montevallo &045; a place where you can find peace and get a taste of small town campus life that is unparalleled by any in the country.

It’s a public four-year liberal arts college, which makes it a one-of-a-kind in Alabama and a rarity even in the United States.

Its uniqueness truly makes it Shelby County’s shining star.

It was at the University of Montevallo that I fully discovered the leadership skills that have brought me where I am today.

As College Night Leader (the oldest college tradition in the United States), an officer in the Student Government Association, my honor society and social sorority, I developed strong leadership skills that have provided me with a rich life experience.

I also developed close personal relationships with professors that continue now, some 20 years later.

I visited in their homes, attended functions with them and was challenged and provoked to thought by some who remain liberal in their opinions.

Mind you, I never gave in and remain a true conservative, but I earned the right to believe what I believe in because I was challenged to defend it. They taught me that and I am grateful.

People often ask, &uot;Are leaders born or made?&uot;

I believe it takes a little of both, but we are born with a predisposition to be a leader.

To believe that is to believe that we must constantly place ourselves in environments and situations where that predisposition can be challenged and grow to reach its fullest potential.

The University of Montevallo was such a place for me. It helped me realize potential I never knew I had.

It presented me with opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise at any other university.

Since college graduation in 1984, I have utilized the education I received through many positive facets of our society.

I have worked with children’s charities, owned and operated my own business and have served on the executive staffs of both a governor and a lieutenant governor.

More importantly, I have become a wife and a mother, two of the hardest but most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had.

Now, the people of this state have given me the privilege of serving them as the next state auditor of Alabama. I am humbled and honored.

Many things bring us to where we are at certain points in our lives.

I am grateful that I had the University of Montevallo to help guide me here and to bring me to Shelby County, a place that I now call home.

Truly, the University of Montevallo is Shelby County’s shining star and one that I’m glad I followed