Wilson County Schools' Office Administrative Assistant Pam Peery hails from Paris, Tennessee, but has lived, worked and served her adopted Wilson County community for more than two decades.
Peery and her husband, Richard, made the decision to move southeast in the late 1980s. The couple, who will celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary this July, met when Peery was just 16 years old in Henry County.
"I was the family babysitter and worked in his father's restaurant. I was already accepted and loved by his family, so he really had no choice but to love me too," she said.
The couple looked for a new place to call "home" - one with a better economy and substantial job opportunities. After living in Davidson County for a year, they decided on Mt. Juliet.
"We were looking for a community that was affordable, safe, one that had a good school system and churches nearby that would fit our needs. We found all of that and more in Mt. Juliet," she said.
Peery has been employed with Wilson County Schools for 21 years. She started her career with WCS in February 1995 as the secretary of the Teacher Center. She also served as school secretary at the Vocational Center and secretary to the attendance director.
Peery has served in her current role - administrative assistant to the director of schools - since November 2007.
"The most rewarding part of my job is helping others and being a part of a school system that takes educating the students in Wilson County seriously and does a really good job at it," she said. "Whether it is a parent, a member of the community, community leader, teacher, principal or co-worker who contacts the director's office, I do my best to assist them. Every call is important to me."
Peery spends much of her spare time with family - they have two adult daughters, Melinda Peery, and Amy Peery - and volunteering with local organizations such as Wilson ONE.
"Wilson ONE was formed in 2001 and stands for Organization for Networking and Education. Wilson ONE awards scholarships annually to the non-traditional student," she explained.
"Last year members voted to award three $500 scholarships to the residents of Wilson County. Wilson ONE members focus on the enablement of working individuals, paid and non-paid, from all walks of life in Wilson County. I am honored to be a member of an organization that encourages community organization and involvement."
Peery served two years as Wilson ONE secretary and is the present chair of the Scholarship Committee and on the Public Relations Committee.
She also serves on the Mt. Juliet Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Council and on the Wilson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Board of Directors.
There are numerous women who she admires, starting with her mother.
Peery described her mom as a very strong, beautiful and classy lady who raised six sons and two daughters. "My mother lived with Richard and I in Mt. Juliet for the last year of her life, while battling breast cancer. She loved life and died with dignity," Peery recounted, adding that she will never forget all of the things her mother taught her.
"She taught me to stand up for what I believe in, the importance of faith, family and friends, and that working hard pays off and to keep a good reputation."
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.