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Amy Wilken works as the SEEK teacher at Gladeville Middle School. She loves making positive relationships with her students to show them how much she cares about their success in life. 

“At the top of my list is to see my students grow and have ‘aha’ moments. To see their faces light up with joy when they finally understand something that they have been working on is priceless,” Wilken said. “I love being able to help mold our future generation.”

Wilken grew up in Harrisburg, Ill. She moved to Nashville in 2005 after graduating from Southeast Missouri State, where she had softball and academic scholarships. 

“My two friends and I wanted to venture out on our own and away from our families to see what life had to offer us,” she said. Just a few months later, Wilken met her now-husband, Barry.

“I was working at B.B. Kings as a waitress. He walked in with a few people that he had just met at another downtown establishment. He had just moved to Nashville two weeks prior and didn’t know anybody yet,” she explained. “That group of people left him there and when I realized he was all alone, I approached him and started a conversation. From that night on we didn’t stop talking. We truly started out as friends and ended up getting married.”

They recently celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary. Wilken said they chose to plant roots in Wilson County because of the school district.  They have two children, Oliver, 8, and Ella, 6.

She said she loves playing sports, riding bikes, hiking and bird watching. She admitted that most of her time away from work revolves around her family. Her kids are involved with sports and she has served as a coach. 

“I love working with kids and making sure they are learning the fundamentals of sports. Most importantly, I just want the kids to love the game and to stay active,” she said.

Wilken holds a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Lipscomb University. Her family attends Cross Point Church in Mt. Juliet.

She is involved with Souls4Soles and sponsors Project Selflessness, a club created by former student Cali VanCleve. 

“The club is about helping others and making a positive impact on this world. The members focus on school and community service projects such as feeding the homeless, helping Big Brothers with their toy drive at Christmas, promoting a positive culture at our school, and so much more,” Wilken shared.

Wilken admires multiple women in her family. She and her two sisters, Audrey and Ashley, were taught by their parents Dennis and Lynn Murphy to work hard and expect nothing to be handed to them. 

“My dad didn’t stop having us work hard just because we were girls. I went to job sites with him and worked on building homes. I ran huge machinery before I even had my driver's license. I ran the tagline of trusses to help get them set — working right alongside grown men,” she said. “My mom has been a great example of what a strong woman should look like. She doesn’t rely on anyone to do what she wants, but also is appreciative when she receives help. Be strong, but also show grace. She is a true example of what being a servant of God means, by always helping others and is always giving.”

To nominate someone for the Woman of Wilson feature, send information to Sabrinalgarrett@gmail.com.

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