Alabama transplant at home
Lots of people like the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd song, "Sweet Home Alabama," but for Mindy Newby and her family, it's more than a catchy tune.
"When we left Alabama to come here, that's the song we played driving," she said. "That's one of our family's favorite songs."
Newby, the counseling and homework secretary at Lansing Middle School, moved from central Florida to Alabama after marrying her high-school sweetheart, Mark Newby, an Army pilot, who was stationed at Fort Rucker. Both of her children were born in Alabama, so she considers it home, she said.
Newby has lived all over the South: born in Louisville, Ky., she grew up in Florida before living in Alabama for five years.
Newby's duties as homework secretary mean that she coordinates requests for assignments from teachers for students who are absent and keeps the slips for parents to collect. Newby said this time of year is the busiest for her homework secretary duties because it is flu and cold season.
"There was a couple times last year, probably 50 kids were out, and about half requested their homework assignments. We had to set up a table" just for the assignment slips, Newby said.
Another hat Newby wears at the school is sponsor of the pep club. Newby said the group is important because it gives students extra incentives to come to games and support their teams. Last year, 52 students who attended 17 games got to go to a Kansas City Royals game. The group is still deciding what kind of trip to take this year.
As much as Newby and her family like Alabama, she said, they'd like to stay here. But the decision may be out of her and her husband's hands. Mark is attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and he will learn in the next couple of weeks whether he will be relocated. If it's just for a year, Newby said, she and her children will probably stay.
Name: Mindy Newby
Address: 619 S. Bittersweet Lane
Occupation: Counseling and homework secretary at Lansing Middle School
Family: Spouse, Mark; daughter, Mandi; son, Matthew.
How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? We have lived here three and half years. My husband is military and was assigned to Fort Leavenworth.
What do you like most about Lansing? The small-town atmosphere with a "big city" nearby.
What do you do for fun? Camping with my family, taking my two dogs for a walk and playing bunco monthly with friends.
What would surprise people about you? The fact that I love snow and I actually grew up in Florida.
What's the best advice you ever received? Try to always treat other people the way you want to be treated.
What organizations or clubs do you belong to? The Leavenworth Country Club and, as funny as it may sound, Pep Club at Lansing Middle School. I'm the sponsor.