Occupation: Receptionist, City of Maryville
Family: Married to Gary Perkins. They have a son, Bryson, 12, and a daughter, Makinley, 10.
Since she was a little girl, Stephanie Greaser Perkins knew it was expected for her to get a college education before she got married. Her uncle made that expectation very clear.
“The reason I had to go to college was inspiration from my Uncle Asher Howard. He always said, ‘You will get an education and make something of yourself.’ He was county judge, what they call county mayor now, from the 1950s to 1970s,” she said. “He passed away my sophomore year of high school. No matter what, I knew I was going to college to fulfill his dream for me.”
Perkins grew up Blount County and graduated from Heritage High School in 1993. She earned an associates degree in Marketing from Pellissippi State. She worked at Superior Finance and then at Vanderbilt Mortgage for four years before leaving the outside workforce to become a stay-at-home mom for five years.
“I’ve been at the City of Maryville four years. In my particular job, I get to meet and greet and see everyone and talk to everyone. What I mainly do is help people coming in,” she said. “When folks leave here, I want them to know I’ve done the best I could to help them. The group of people who work here are amazing.”
Perkins says she has been fortunate in that she has been able to travel to different parts of the United States and Europe, but she’s always wanted to be in Blount County. “I love it -- the mountains, my family. I don’t think there’s any other place I would want to live. There’s no place like home.”
Perkins’ husband is a corporal with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office where he works with his K-9 partner “Myke,” and also is a member of the SWAT team. They met as students at Heritage High School.
“When I met Gary, he was a football player, popular and everybody knew him. I was so not any of that, so he was totally out of my norm,” she says.
The couple dated five years before they got married. “I had to get through college and get a job before I got married, and he had to have one, too,” she says.
Perkins says being a parent has been the greatest experience of her life. “I love them more and more every day. They’re my entertainment,” she says. “With sports, school activities and with them just being goofballs at home, I sit and wonder what did I do before I had kids.”
Here is Stephanie Greaser Perkins:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman,’ said to a snooty sales clerk: ‘You work on commission right? Big mistake - big, huge mistake.’ ”
What are you guilty of?
“Promising myself I will work out and never do.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My blanket. I have had it since I was born.”
What are you reading currently?
“Water for Elephants.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“Talking to someone for 10 minutes and the whole time thinking they were someone else. It was awful.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Go to Australia, own a beach house big enough for all my friends and family and swim with the dolphins and stingrays.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Fun. I have been told that I can bring laughter and happiness even in bad situations by trying to be positive and not focus on the negative all the time.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“To be more thankful and to not take the simple pleasures of life for granted when so many others are suffering.”
What is your passion?
“My family -- they are my world.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“Ronald Reagan. I would love to ask him so many questions and what he thinks of politics today.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“The late 1800s, post-Civil War era, when most people worked for what they had and respected property and each other.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“My engagement ring.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Never start a fight, but you better finish it. ”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“I was very lucky to have several grandparents and great grandparents alive for most of my childhood, and they taught me so much. But my Uncle ‘Judge’ Asher Howard encouraged me to explore and try new things. He always encouraged me to grow in my education and taught me how to get along with people. He never met a stranger.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Facebook, and I have a Twitter account.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“’Road Runner.’ No matter what, he always won.”
What irritates you?
“Cancer and mean people.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Cades Cove. It is so beautiful and an awesome reminder of the beauty of God.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Reach the highest level of education you want now, because when you get married and have kids, you think you will go back to school, but few ever do.”
What is your greatest fear?
“It would be a toss up between heights and purple octopus. Strange I know, but true. When I was little, Tupperware sold bathtub toys and one was a purple octopus. For some reason, I was terrified and had nightmares of the octopus grabbing my feet.”
“I still can’t quite get the hang of…
“Touch screens. My fingers are too big, and I never hit the button I am trying for.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, what would it be?
“A road trip to anywhere and no where at the same time. We would just pack up a motor home and drive and see all of our amazing country up close. We wouldn’t have a plan, just hit the road with no map or specific destination. I’ve always wanted to do that.”