Steven Roberts, of Shelter Insurance in Tracy City, was born and raised in Grundy County. The son of Karen Gibson and Steve Roberts, he has fond memories of growing up on the mountain and today is very involved in the community.
“I attended Shook School,” says Steven. “I had great teachers throughout elementary school. I can remember that Shook School had a more community feel.
“I remember my teachers, especially Mrs. Partin, Irene Flynn, Nelda Stiefel, and Cordell Newsome. They all stand out. I also had some really great friends – Stacy Williams, Jeff White, Donald Hargis, Brent Stiefel, and Jayson Campbell. We were all pretty much always together.
“My best memory is probably getting to dress out with the basketball team when I was in third grade. I loved sports and competing. The uniform was made by my great aunt, the late Syd Church. She made uniforms for years.
“I attended the best high school around, Grundy County High School in Tracy City. It was truly a special school. It had that small town feel, but really resembled a small college. My teachers Donny Ladd, Buford Newsome, Odea Newsome, and the late Mrs. Tarzi really stand out. Mrs. Tarzi was the librarian and I always loved seeing her. Wanda Sanders taught English and was a great teacher and always willing to help. Mr. Newsome would always try to catch the ‘runners’ on their way to lunch and he got me a couple of times.
“I had Mr. Ladd for first period my junior year and I was renowned for coming in about 10 seconds after the bell would ring. He would always scold me and embarrass me in a fun way. But, on awards day, he brought me up and presented me with an award for being tardy and an alarm clock. He was probably my toughest teacher, but definitely a favorite.”
Steven played baseball and basketball all four years of high school. He says he had great coaches, the late Chris Pickett and Ted Ladd, who had a tremendous impact on his life.
“Being on those teams are some of the best memories of my life. The talks after the games, the tough practices, the running. I look back, and I loved it all. The life lessons they taught us based on being around the game of baseball I use every day.
“I was voted Most Athletic and was in the top 10 percent of my class my senior year. This was a tribute to my teachers, coaches, and teammates.”
After graduation, Steven attended Motlow on a baseball scholarship. He transferred to Tennessee Wesleyan in Athens and played a couple of years there. In 1992, he graduated with a degree business from Tennessee Tech.
“I soon figured out I wanted to teach and coach. I returned to school to get certified to teach. I received my certifications in business, accounting, social sciences, physical education, health, and driver’s education.
“During school, I worked many baseball and basketball camps. And, I worked summers with youth baseball in Tracy City and Monteagle.
“After graduation, I taught and coached at Grundy County High School, then had a couple of coaching years at St. Andrews-Sewanee, then Marion County, and back to Grundy County. I taught for a total of 15 years.
“I was approached to run Shelter Insurance in Tracy City and decided to become an agent. I have been here in Tracy city for four years now. It has been a great choice and opened many doors for me. I loved coaching, but I’ve always wanted to run my own business. It was something I grew up seeing every day. My grandfather, Glen Church, ran his own trucking business, and my dad runs his own siding and gutter business. It was in my blood.
“Shelter Insurance has allowed me to run my own business with a household-established name. I am the agent and can write in most all fields – from commercial to private. My top fields are home, auto, and life. I really enjoy helping people and giving back to the community that I was born and raised in and still live in. Shelter has allowed me to do that.”
Steven continues to be involved in sports.
“I support local teams, schools and events as much as I can, including the Tracy City Horse Arena, Tracy City Youth Baseball, and Monteagle Youth Baseball. I grew up on the same fields and gyms as these kids today and want nothing more than to see things improve and prosper.”
In his free time, Steven enjoys riding his motorcycle.
“I grew up on motorcycles and I have a Harley. I enjoy riding, but don’t get to as much as I would like. I enjoy being around home, being outside, campfires and cookouts with family, and working outside with landscaping.
“I also am a referee. I have done basketball for about eight years now. I’ve done high school and middle school, but now I just do Big 8. I don’t have the time to travel to high school games since taking on Shelter Insurance. Officiating allows me to see the old faces in sports I grew up coaching and playing with. I get to stay close to the game and get to enjoy watching the kids play something I grew up playing and loving.”
Steven attends First United Methodist Church in Tracy City. He says he loves living in a small town with genuine people and the beauty of the mountains.
Steven was recently honored as one of Shelter’s highest achieving sales representatives, based on overall 2014 agency operations.
The Champion designation recognizes members of a select group of Shelter agents who demonstrate the highest overall excellence in insurance services and meet corporate standards of sound agency operation during the previous year. He has represented Shelter since September 2012. Since then, he has earned the Champion recognition twice.