Today we are featuring a Snellville, GA native who loves all things related the South, Monograms and UGA. Collette is a Black Southern Belle who lives for tailgate season and all things southern. We are excited to share the story is southern sweetheart and hope she inspires you pursue your passions and be your authentic self and to monogram everything!
Name: Collette Toney
Title: Current Teacher
Hometown: Snellville, GA
Alma Mater: University of Georgia
Sorority: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
Favorite thing about being southern: I would have to say my favorite thing about being southern is monogramming! I have lost count of how many monogrammed things that I own that are home décor, wardrobe pieces, jewelry, travel accessories, etc. Like Reese Witherspoon said, “If it’s not moving, monogram it!” I truly love the personalization that it brings to everyday items.
What is your personal life motto: “We love because he first loved us.” John 4:19—it constantly reminds us all that we should show others the same love that God shows us—a love full of joy, grace, forgiveness, and helpfulness.
What is the most challenging professional obstacle you have had: The most challenging professional obstacle that I have ever had was my first year of teaching! I am sure any educator would echo something similar. There’s this feeling that comes over you on the first day of school. You remind yourself that you studied and earned degrees to be in this position. However, when 33 13 and 14 year olds waltz into your classroom, your mind goes blank for few seconds. You realize that you are the only teacher in the room and are accountable for the education of all of them. There were many times that my authority was challenged. There were times I questioned my ability. There were times I felt like I lost control in the classroom. In addition, during my first year of teaching, my mom was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and passed away later that year. I was emotionally and spiritually drained. Yet, I learned so much about myself in that first year. I learned that I was stronger than I ever realized and could conquer anything and everything that crossed my path. By the end of the year, I developed such close relationships with my students and felt that I impacted them in a wonderful way. Though the year was tough in many different ways, it has made me a stronger person and grow tremendously as a teacher.
Who is your favorite character a “Different World”: Definitely Whitley! I loved her appreciation for timeless class.
If you could do any job, what would that be?: If I could do any job, I would be a painter. I do not have a single artistic bone in my body, but I thoroughly enjoy the thought of being able to paint the beautiful landscapes in the countries and places I have been and have yet to visit.
Who do you wish you could meet?: If I could meet anyone, I would choose to meet Michelle Obama. To me, she is the symbol of grace, inspiration, strength, class, and intellect. It would be such an honor to have a conversation with her.
What would your best friend say is the best/most annoying quality about yourself?: I think my best friend would say that my best quality is that I am a loyal friend. I actually know that she would say my most annoying quality is that I am a “sour patch kid”. I will play tricks on her and then be sweet the next second! I cannot help that goofy side of me sometimes ☺
What advice would you give your younger college self?: Do not try to find yourself, but when your true self eventually surfaces in relationships, situations, and experiences, embrace it.
Where can we connect with you? I am off most social media, but I am still on Facebook ☺ And of course, Pinterest!