Samantha Knowles works in the Wilson County Property Assessors Office handling sales verification and exemptions.

Knowles, who has worked for the county for six years, said the most rewarding part of her job is meeting people.

“Getting to help the community that I grew up in and live in today is a wonderful blessing,” she said.

Knowles is a native of Norene. After graduating from Watertown High School, she spent a year studying at Middle Tennessee State University.

“I thought I wanted a bigger college since I attended such a small high school and just didn’t like it and felt alone,” she said. “One of my older brothers, Jason, was attending Cumberland University at the time and said that I should come tour CU because it would be a good fit for me … I fell in love with the campus and never looked back.

“Cumberland will always be the place I met forever friends who are more like family and professors who taught more than just a course — they taught life lessons and shaped me into the adult I am today.”

In her spare time, Knowles enjoys being with her family.

“I’m lucky that the majority of my family live close enough that I get to spend time with them all year long — not just at holidays,” she said.

She said she also loves working out at IMA Crossfit.

“Crossfit is something I never would have thought that I would enjoy,” she said. However, she credited amazing coaches with encouraging her to stay the path.

“I’ve discovered that I’m strong and love weightlifting but even more that I love the community I’ve joined. It is one in a million. IMA Crossfit has become a second family for me,” she said.

Knowles named several women she admires, beginning with her mother, Judy.

“My mother raised me and my two brothers. She raised me knowing that she wasn’t my friend — she was my mother. She used to always say, ‘You can have hundreds of friends, but only one mother.’ It wasn’t until I was older that I understood what she meant … A mother’s love is more valuable than any friendship,” she said.

Next, she spoke of her two grandmothers.

“Hazel Knowles, or Mama Hazel, was a wonderful woman. I’ve heard hundreds of stories from strangers about her Christian kindness or about having her as a teacher. She had Alzheimer’s disease, so I didn’t get the privilege of knowing her without the disease, but she raised five wonderful children — my father, Brent Knowles, being one of them — so I know the stories are true,” Knowles said.

She said her granny, Peggy Church, is one of a kind.

“Growing up, I knew two things — Granny loved her grandkids and being outside with her flowers gardening,” Knowles said.

Last, but not least, Knowles said she was blessed with childhood friends Jennifer, Keri, Beth, Rachel and Tiffany, who are still an important part of her life today.

“We encourage and support each other from having babies, showing cattle or being halfway across the world,” she said. “We still try to get together every few months.”

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