is making retirement count.
Some days, Glover walks nine
holes of golf to stay in shape, or helps friends with charitable work for 17th
Street Missionary Baptist Church, where he’s a member.
Though there’s good to be had
in all of that, Glover said, he’s found his greatest enjoyment in teaching
children how to reach their goals.
When he retired seven years
ago, Glover jumped right into Eastern Energizers, the company’s charitable arm
for retirees of Alabama Power, Southern Company Services and Southern Nuclear.
All it took was a little push from his longtime friend Sophia Christian, who asked Glover to help with the Class Act
program at Anniston Middle School. Right away, Glover knew he’d found his
“The project is geared toward
mentoring at-risk youth and targets middle school kids, who are impressionable
and can be swayed,” Glover said. “Our meetings are always on Tuesday, and we spend
about 45 minutes with the kids. I go six to seven times a school year. I knew
this was important.”
Inspiring tomorrow’s achievers
Glover and Christian begin
their Class Act sessions a week or two after the school year
starts. The goal of Class Act is to foster ethics and teach good character and
responsibility to youngsters by serving as strong role models.
The program emphasizes values such as
compassion, fairness, honesty, kindness, respect and responsibility. The project is a commitment, Glover said, but
volunteers from a cross section of Alabama Power employees and retirees share
the weekly meetings. Alabama Power’s team is among more than 30 other business,
civic and community volunteers serving in Class Act in 2018.
The Anniston City Schools Foundation provided
Glover and other Class Act mentors the book “Success for Teens,”
introduced in 2008. The book provides teens a positive message about character
development and how their decisions affect their lives.
Glover has worked with Anniston Middle School
teacher Annette Sturkie’s class for the past three years. She said she sees the
many benefits her sixth-graders receive through Class Act.
“James Glover is very inspiring,” said Sturkie, a sixth-grade reading
teacher at Anniston Middle School. “It’s incredible how the students always
want him to come back, because he inspires them. Two years ago, I taught a
class with boys only, and they asked James lots of questions because they could
relate to him.
“He is a mentor
to them, and talks to them about their grades, their behavior,” she said. “He
will step away from the book to give them what they need.”
earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, elementary education and
teaching at Jacksonville State University, appreciates the time the duo gives
her students. Sturkie tries to keep her students focused on excellence: Indeed,
she was Teacher of the Year at Norwood Elementary School in Birmingham in 1999.
Giving kids that ‘little extra edge’
and Christian currently mentor about 22 children. He said he tries to give the
children peace of mind and let them know that people – other than their parents
– are thinking about them.
tell them there are consequences they are responsible for and have to deal
with,” Glover said. “There are consequences to pay, good or bad. The more we
talk with them, it’s reaching them at an impressionable age. We want to follow
them in middle school because they are really in the formative years.
talk and let them know we want them to do what is right, besides their
parents,” Glover said. “We encourage them to do the proper things to succeed in
Glover is proud to share with
students the trajectory of his 40-year career at Alabama Power. He started in
the Anniston Garage, moving to a Tree Crew and later becoming an apprentice
lineman in Talladega. From there, he moved to Anniston as a lineman,
progressing to lead lineman and serving as a line crew foreman for 26 years.
Glover spent his last four years working as a Transmission specialist at the
“Every one of us talk about
our jobs, and what influenced us to work and succeed at Alabama Power,” he
said. “I let the students know that even though I’m retired, I still care about
their future and their educations. We have some great kids.”
Glover’s true success came in retirement
Glover has gained
much satisfaction through his volunteer work with the Eastern Energizers,
mainly from projects accomplished for his community.
“Each year, we
try to donate funds to a charitable organization that’s geared to helping
at-risk kids,” he said.
During the past
year, for example, the Eastern Energizers donated money to the Anniston Soup
Bowl, which serves the hungry in the Eastern area; helped the Parrish Home for
Boys; and assisted Calhoun County Child Protective Services, an advocacy
organization that helps abused children.
“It means a lot
to me, being in Energizers and getting the chance to help someone,” Glover
said. “We spend time in fellowship and enjoy each other. I’m really glad my
friends got me involved.”
By Donna Cope