(Stephanie is a Pickens native and a 20-year employee in the county assessor’s office.)
Tell me a little about your background.
As an only child, I was born and raised here and actually work in the same building that I was born in. My graduating class of 1991 was the last class to attend high school as an eighth grader because the following year
Pickens Middle School opened. I still live on the same road that I was brought home to from the hospital, and it is the same road that I still live on.
I married Maurice Gooch in 1992 and we have been married 22 years. We were blessed with our twins, Emily and Wyatt, in 1999 and blessed eight years later with our little pleasant surprise, Hayden, in 2007. I have spent the last 20 years of my life working for the Pickens County Government in the Assessor’s Office and serve as the Deputy Chief Appraiser. I also work part time as a server and bartender at Fatz Café.
How did you get into your line of work?
I came to work for the county in 1994 at the age of 19 and I absolutely love my job. Ever since I was a little girl, I had always dreamed of working in the courthouse when I grew up. I guess it was because at the age of four and five that big building on Main Street was just so fascinating. Speaking of fascination, my supervisor Roy Dobbs told himself that I would only last two weeks when I was hired because he thought I was too energetic and peppy and wouldn’t make a go of it here. So every year, I call my anniversary date whatever year it is plus two weeks.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
My current line of work is not close to what I thought I would be when I grew up. I always thought I would get into nursing, teaching or cosmetology. However my biggest regret is not joining the military. I remember when I was little and playing outside with my cousin, I always said that when I grew up I was going to drive a tractor trailer, play bass guitar in a band and join the Army. I guess it’s because military blood runs in my veins. On my daddy’s side I have two uncles that were in the Army and on my mama’s side her brother and uncle were in the Marines.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
The people that have been the biggest influence in my life is my family and God. My mama and daddy raised me to appreciate life and what I have, and to have respect. My daddy taught me not take anything from anybody and that is something that I am most proud of. As I have gotten older, I choose my battles rather than jumping right on one like I did when I was younger. I have learned from my husband over the years that you can learn more when you keep your mouth shut and your ears open. Sometimes it’s hard, but that goes back to the choose your battles wisely attitude. With God I acknowledge him daily. I am not perfect because I am human and I do err in judgement with some of the things I say and do, but overall I try to live my life in a way that he would approve.
If you could hold on to just one memory from your life, what would that be?
The memory that I would hold on to would be any memory that has brought me peace. When you have peace, you have happiness. We all only live one life, so why live it in a way that makes you or others miserable. As the actress Jessica Lange said one time in an interview, “I want to look back on my life and say, “Wow, that was a good ride”. My idea of a good ride is peace and happiness because when you have that, everything else just falls into place.
I know you are busy as a mom to your twins who are very active. What's it like keeping with twins who are always on the go?
It is fun!! I thrive on go, go, go and living life in the fast lane! I like the challenge and that is what motivates me.
What's your favorite sports team?
My favorite sports team will always be the team that my children play on regardless of the sport. Outside of that, my favorite football team is the Dallas Cowboys and my favorite baseball team is the Atlanta Braves.