Melody Knight Oliver, recently elected to Grundy County Circuit Court Clerk, loves being from Grundy County and is excited that she now has the opportunity to help its citizens.
Congratulations on your recent win. Before we get to that, can you give us a little background? Where did you grow up? “I was raised in Beersheba Springs. My parents are Albert and Imogene Knight. I went to Beersheba Springs Elementary School and to Grundy County High School.”
Does anything stand out from high school? “My parents worked and we lived out on the far end of Beersheba, but I was voted Most Dependable of my senior class.”
Did you continue with your education? “A few years after high school I returned to college. I went to MTSU and received my degree in Elementary Education. My first job was at Palmer Elementary. I also taught at Monteagle and at Franklin County.
“While I was at Franklin County, I got my Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Tech and graduated with a 4.0.”
Can you tell us about your family? “Yes. I am married to Mike Oliver. We got married in 2004. In 2006, I lost my first child, Chase McGee in a four-wheeler accident. He was 19. It was a very dark time for me.
“In 2008, I became pregnant right around Christmas. But, less than two weeks later, I found out I had breast cancer. While I was pregnant, I went through four rounds of chemotherapy and had a lumpectomy. Judson was born five weeks early and was in NICU for 11 days.
“After he was born, I had four more rounds of chemo and six and one-half weeks of radiation.
“The great news is that I just passed my five year mark in December. That is a big benchmark in cancer circles. Judson is five and in his first year of school.”
Overcoming so much, many people would be content to sit back and let others take care of Grundy County. What made you decide to run for Circuit Court Clerk? “My high school dream was to be a lawyer. I even took the LSAT, the graduate test you take to get into law school. I love all the legal aspects of things.
“After my son was killed, I lost my desire to do anything. But, I am at a good place now. I feel like I can be an asset to the office and really help the people of Grundy County. God has been good to me.”
What will you bring to the office? “I want to treat everyone fair. Everyone who comes in the court has a problem. I want them to know they can be treated in a courteous manner no matter what their problem is.”
As you traveled the county during your campaign, did you see any needs? “Yes, we need children to know the importance of education and we need jobs so our children do not have to leave the mountain. We need programs for drug users – not just throwing them back on the streets.”
What keeps you here? “My family, it is a great place to raise a family. I love the people. I love where we live. People stick together and it is a tight knit community.”
Any surprises for our readers? “I like to shoot handguns. I have my permit!”
Melody and her family currently make their home in Pelham. She is a longtime member of Cumberland Baptist Church in Beersheba Springs and invites everyone to attend one of their services or Bible study groups.