Hines provides a helping hand at Thompson Middle

Published 4:26 pm Friday, March 9, 2012

Mary Hines has served as the secretary at Thompson Middle School for several years. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Since the new Thompson Middle School opened its doors in 1999, Mary Hines has been one of the smiling, courteous ladies behind the office counter. Hines serves as secretary and “does a little bit of everything.”

Born Mary Elizabeth Stovall, most of her childhood was spent in Montgomery, where she attended Jeff Davis High School. At the tender age of 14, she met Henry Hines, four years older, at a Dairy Queen after a high school rodeo.

Between her junior and senior years, they were married and moved to Meridian, Miss. with Henry’s job.

Hines graduated from Meridian High School. Thirty-nine years later, they are still each others’ best friend. Having moved from Meridian to Alabaster to Tennessee and back to Alabaster, the Hines family fit in whether it was with sports, church or community.

The worst tragedy in Hines’ life was losing her dad in a traffic accident when she was only 13.

“My kids at middle school are the same age as I was then, and many of the things they feel —lost, sad and misplaced — I can feel right where they are coming from. I try to be a good listener and let them know they can get past their obstacles,” she said.

Being kind, sympathetic and courteous are traits she attributes to her parental raising. Hines has two sisters and one brother, and when her dad died, her mom was left with four children under the age of 14.

“She did great,” said Hines. “Mom was a deputy sheriff and a force to be reckoned with.”

A home on Lake Jordan is the Hines’ retreat — boating, reading, meditating or chasing grandchildren Slade, Carson, Holden, Delaney, Parker or Elizabeth are the top favorites for this working grandmother. Children — all Thompson graduates — are Heath, Heather and Hunter.

“God has blessed us so much. I am so thankful every day that my family is safe and happy.”

Hines hopes the new Alabaster school system will be successful, but voiced some concerns.

“The Shelby County system is so well respected and well recognized. I sure hope our leaders will carry us in the right direction,” she said.

Already having taken a trip to Prague, Hines would love to go on an Alaskan cruise.

When I asked the secret to her always-present smile and upbeat attitude she said, “I enjoy my life — my husband, children, grandchildren and job. What a blessing.”

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by email at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.