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Vest appreciates Madison’s zest for life

Susan Vest teaches fifth-graders at Rainbow Elementary School. CONTRIBUTED
Susan Vest teaches fifth-graders at Rainbow Elementary School. CONTRIBUTED

Why I Love This Town

MADISON – Susan Vest admires Madison’s willingness to assimilate people from many different backgrounds and experiences.

“Families move in, sometimes begrudgingly, expecting the worst from living in Alabama but find themselves even appreciating the Madison way of life. It’s a community that offers options for young and old, opportunities to invest in others’ lives and genuine people with a contagious zest for life,” Vest said.

Growing up in Madison, Vest saw only a few classmates complete all 12 years of school here. “We were lucky. My parents always transitioned from one defense industry job to another,” Vest said.

Vest feels like Madison “is a town that grew up right alongside me. As a child, Madison was cotton fields and open space. I have watched it grow, develop and change, just as it allowed me to do.”

After graduating from Bob Jones High School, she attended Birmingham-Southern College. Her first teaching job was in Birmingham and then she accepted an opening at West Madison Elementary School, her alma mater.

West Madison’s librarian at the time displayed old yearbooks with Vest’s photos for her students to see. She found the unique and exciting opportunity to teach alongside her former teachers.

Now she teaches fifth-graders at Rainbow elementary, a school that opened several years after she had completed elementary school.

By returning home, Vest fostered adult relationships with family, friends and mentors. “I truly learned how supportive a community Madison could be. The outpouring of love was overwhelming and confirmed God’s design in my return to Madison.”

Her parents are Larry and Joyce Vest and her brothers are Curtis of Madison and Jeff of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Susan’s hobbies are gardening, reading, working out, volunteering and church activities. “I love hiking Rainbow Mountain or walking the new Mill Creek Greenway. Those were open fields (years ago) where we ‘may or may not’ have caused a little innocent trouble,” she said.

A music fanatic, she likes all genres from classical to country. “It’s a treat to go to just relax, enjoy time with friends and listen to good music,” like Old Black Bear, Main Street Cafe, Hunt Club, Sady’s Bistro and Sam & Greg’s, Vest said.

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