Teresa Howell is an over-achiever with four degrees and a published book
Updated: Jan 30, 2019
Tell us about your career:
As an exceptional children's director, I have the ability to assist families and students with tools and strategies for success. I also have the ability to empower teachers to be better at their craft.
How did you get into your line of work?
I worked in cooperate America for 14 years and became restless. After receiving my BA in psychology, I decided to become a teacher.
How many degrees do you hold?
I have four degrees: associates of arts, BA in psychology, MA in special education, MA in school administration; national board certified teacher.
What was your upbringing like?
I grew up living in the inner city of Boston with my mom, who was a single parent; I was her only child. On the weekends, I would visit my dad and engage with my my sisters and brothers on his side.
What brought you to the Carolinas?
My dad is originally from here. He retired to the Carolinas- I followed in 1998.
What's your family like?
I am married with two boys ages 18 and 9.
What events in your life or family's life have impacted you?
The death of my mother and grandmother. I was very close to my grandmother, as if I was her 8th child. She lived a long life of 91 years and it still hurt me to the core when she left me. Her death rearranged my thought process and I began to write for theraputic reasons. That therapy got me up and charged to write a book. My mother's death pushed me even more. My manuscript was completed two weeks before she passed. I hesitated to put it out. But when she passed my drive became stronger to finish my race in her honor. She died May 14th. My book was published May 26th.
Tell us about your novel:
"That Church Life" spins a tale of drama, suspense, romance, and tragedy that invites readers to explore the universal intrigue of what lies at the core of the good and not-so-good realities of life in the church. The book can be found in 15 bookstores in seven states and on Amazon.
What challenges you day to day?
Having such a demanding job while being an author and having a publishing company can sometimes be overwhelming.
How do you decompress?
I love to play the keyboard, write and sing.
What drives you towards success?
The desire to achieve the highest level of success possible in all areas of my life.
What motivates you?
I am inspired by learning all that I can and empowering others.
What causes or charities are you involved with?
I am involved with the Diabetes Foundation.
What do you love about the Carolinas?
The sports, the people, the entertainment.
Where do you vacation?
What are your proudest accomplishments?
Completing school, writing a book and being in school for my PhD.
What hasn't changed about you since living in the south?
I am truly a northerner and do not like being out in the heat.
You were once homeless?
I moved to Atlanta, GA when my mom got stationed there in 1990. She then moved to Alabama, and I didn't want to move with her again. I got my own apartment and was doing well for a 19-year-old. Two of my girlfriends, who attended Clark Atlanta, convinced me to move into their apartment since one of the girls would be graduating that May. In March of that year, I took them up on the offer thinking that having a roommate would be better than living alone. I moved in one month before graduation. My friend graduated and decided to move back to New York within a week after receiving her degree. Her cousin- who was the other person in the apartment- decided to go back to New York as well and attend a community college. The lease was in their name. They notified me a week before leaving which didn't give me much time to plan, save or move. Within less than 72 hours, I was sleeping in my car looking for room and board. I went from my car to a hotel room to several room and board houses for well over a month. I finally scraped up enough money to drive back up to Boston to live with friends for three months before gaining my pride and own place back.
How did becoming a mother affect you?
Once I became a mother, I became a perfectionist. I wanted to be that loving and nurturing parent who was educated and could survive on my own. I knew that I never wanted to be homeless and experience what I had experienced
years prior, especially with a child. I told myself that I would go back to school and get all the education necessary to be a success story for my children. And I did just that!
If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your time each day?
Write! I am a writer who loves to write about conflict to triumph with a suspenseful twist.
Favorite TV series?
The Price is Right
Where do you see yourself retiring?
Favorite spot in the Carolinas to visit?
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I used to be a cheerleader in high school.