Schools in District 4: Southlawn Middle, Bellingrath Middle, Dunbar/Ramer, Lanier High, Catoma Elementary, Pintlala Elementary, Martin Luther King Elementary, Southlawn Elementary, E.D. Nixon Elementary, Morris Elementary, PACE, Arboretum, Fews
Education has always been a part of Mary Briers' life, and she continues to find it rewarding. "I was a classroom teacher and a counselor in Montgomery County Schools for 25 years. I also coached speedball, volleyball and basketball for the Montgomery Parks and Recreation Department. I can't think of anything that could have been more gratifying for me than working with children all those years."
There were two teachers who inspired Mrs. Briers to join the profession. "My English teacher Ruth Brown forced me to get involved in extra curricular activities like the speech and drama club. She taught me that it is always good to do good - but you can always do better. She would push me when I wanted to just get by, and I learned to keep doing something until I get it right." Mrs. Briers learned many of her teaching techniques from a college history professor at Alabama State University. "Ms. Thelma Glass was the most innovative teacher I ever had. History is not the most exciting class, but she would make us use practical things to bring the past to life. We would role play - conducting tours of times and places. It was more than just reciting facts. We used all of our senses. I have tried to pattern my style of teaching after hers."
Mrs. Briers has a bachelor's degree in social studies with a minor in physical education, and a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Alabama State University. She also did post-graduate work at the University of Alabama.
Her love of children and passion for education provided a natural transition to becoming a school board member. "Having worked in schools for so many years I knew the needs of the children, and I had been encouraged by other teachers to run for the board. I have always been involved in education including serving as president and vice president of the Montgomery County Education Association."
Mrs. Briers is a registered parliamentarian with the National Association of Parliamentarians, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, served for six years as the national president of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, served four years as the parliamentarian for the National Council for Catholic Women, a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International - Alpha Chapter, the Alabama Education Association, the National Education Association, the Capital City Parliamentarians Unit, and a member of St. Jude and Resurrection Catholic Churches.
She enjoys her role as a board member because she knows it makes a difference in the lives of children and their families. "Being involved in constructing policy that will help students learn and support teachers in their jobs is very rewarding. You have to confront challenges head-on. I have always been one involved in making things happen."