From the classroom to the gym, Seth Layne is still all about the kids. He recently spoke with the Herald about his passion for his work and the mountain.
Seth is a native of Grundy County, growing up in Palmer.
“My parents are Delbert and Millie Layne, they pastor Wesley Chapel Holiness Church in Gruetli-Laager,” says Layne. “I have two brothers, Matthew lives with his family in Skymont and Jehu and his family live in Gruetli.
“I graduated from Palmer Elementary School in 1999. I loved the school. The people that worked there helped make my childhood amazing.
“Dennis Mainord was the greatest teacher I have ever known. He was my teacher in grades five through eight and made all of us love history. We fell in love with Mr. Mainord and fell in love with learning. He was the reason I wanted to be an educator. I modeled my teaching after him.”
“I was a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club and a number of other clubs and organizations. I attended Boy’s State with my best friend Dustin Curtis.
“After high school graduation, I majored in Elementary Education at Tennessee Tech University and graduated from there in 2007. I loved college. I attended TTU with several of my close friends, including my girlfriend at the time and now wife Laura Layne (Brown). Intramurals kept us busy and we were very competitive in flag football and basketball. I made a lot of lifelong friendships at Tech. Cookeville will always be close to my heart.”
Seth says he has enjoyed working since he was in high school.
“During high school, I worked at Stephanie’s Diner in Palmer. During the summer, while attending college, I worked as a seasonal maintenance employee at South Cumberland State Park. Those were some of the best times of my life. It was such a joy to come into work every day, with the great people that the park employed. Dean Parsons, Carlton Parmley, Jerry Tipton, and Bob Gross made every single day an adventure. I have so many great memories from my summers there.
“During the school year at Tech, I worked at Walmart in sporting goods. Working 36 hours a week and having 16 hours of classes is a good character builder.
“Right after college, I got a job for the Grundy County School System. I was a first grade teacher for five and one-half years and a fifth and sixth grade teacher for two years.”
Seth is currently the Director of Outreach and Events at Tenacity Adventure Fitness in Tracy City.
“I have been there since October of 2014. I was with the development of the gym from the beginning and I am amazed at how far we have come in just a little over a year of being open.
“At Tenacity, I do a number of things. I work the front desk several mornings a week, take care of all of our social media outlets and promotion, I assist with a few of the children’s classes every week, and I do anything else that needs to be done. I have a million little jobs and a few big jobs. A typical day may consist of cleaning toilets, washing towels, organizing team-building activities, or putting together plans for our after school program that we are starting this month. My day is typically pretty hectic with those million little jobs.
“My biggest job at Tenacity is trying to reach a different audience of people every day to inspire them to become healthier for themselves and their family. Tenacity was built around the concept of having fun first, and letting the fitness be the side effect of the fun. We want to change lives by offering them something different than what they are used to.
“The most rewarding part of the whole thing is actually seeing people accomplish what they set out to achieve. We pride ourselves in being partners with our members. We want people to succeed and we will help you get there. Through partnerships with organizations like the Grundy County Health Council, we are able to see many people take charge of their health and wellness. It’s a wonderful journey.”
One of the best parts of his job is the kids.
“I like to see kids’ face’s when I tell them that my job is to be on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Although that statement is technically true, I do a lot more.
Seth is married to Laura Brown Layne.
“Laura is the daughter of Darrell and Sarah Brown of Tracy City. We have two children. Bella just started Kindergarten at Tracy City Elementary School and Ezra turned two in May. They are my everything. They make my life a little bit sweeter every day.”
“I have a real heart for the community,” says Seth.
“If I live here and call this place my home, then I need to be doing something to make it a better place. On Wednesday nights, I work as a youth volunteer at my church – Tracy City First United Methodist. I also lead worship for both services there on Sunday mornings. I am a graduate of Leadership Grundy and I am an Alderman for Tracy City.
“I enjoy my free time, too. First off, I’m addicted to Jiu Jitsu [jo͞oˈjitso͞o]. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self-defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. It was created so that a smaller weaker person could overcome a larger stronger attacker by using leverage.
“I attend every class that Tenacity offers and I love to compete. This year alone, I have competed in eight tournaments, and have placed in the top three in all of them; I have four more tournaments before the end of the year. Doing Jiu Jitsu, we get to travel around quite a bit.
“We love to travel and see other places. Of course, everyone knows we go to Disney World every year too. God has really blessed us.
Grundy County is important to Seth.
“I love that Grundy County has a giving heart. We have plenty of faults, but our biggest asset is our people. In hard times, the communities of this county come together and get things done.
“Grundy has a multitude of things to offer. We have to make the rest of the state and the country see that, though. The best way we can do that is to believe in ourselves and work feverishly to leave Grundy better than we found it. Have a vision for your children and grandchildren of what Grundy can and should be. Then make it happen!”
Seth has a hodge-podge of favorites on his current playlist.
“Right now I am listening to Ed Sheeran, Casting Crowns, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Mumford and Sons, Imagine Dragons, Boyce Avenue, and my current favorite Alexander and Jean’s ‘Roses and Violets.’”
And, if you want to find out another interesting fact about Seth, you will have to ask him.
“I have a ‘hipple’. You’ll have to ask me about it if you see me out. It’s too big of a story or the Herald!”