Focus Empowers
40 Over 40 Features | 2021

Dr. Monica Motley – Forty Over Forty 2021

Dr. Monica Motley
Photo by Devin Ford
Photo by Devin Ford

Dr. Monica Motley’s productive career in education spans a 20-year period. Dr. Motley currently serves as the Director of Guidance and Counseling/Coordinator of Transformational Improvement for the Mobile County Public School System. Her long-standing professional goal of advocating for those whose voices are not heard blends well with her strong commitment to community service for which she has received numerous awards and accumulated countless hours of service. Her leadership is also felt in her service to boards such as Mobile United, Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama, Community Foundation of South Alabama, and the Literacy Coalition of South Alabama. Dr. Motley lives in Mobile with her husband Terry and her two children, Madison and Terry.

Tell us about your business(es)/employer. List services offered and/or work you do and how you describe what you do to others: 

I provide the vision and focus for the Guidance and Counseling Division. I am honored to lead our school counselors and support our priority schools in the district.

How long in business and/or related field:

I have over 20 years of experience in the education field.

Share any relevant education, accolades, experiences related to your success: 

I hold a B.S. in Elementary Education from Alabama State University; M.Ed. in School Counseling from the University of South Alabama; Educational Leadership certification and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Auburn University. Accolades include Alabama School Counselor Association Counselor Advocate of the Year; Boys and Girls Club of South Alabama volunteer award; Leadership Alabama XXVI; Girl Scout of South Alabama Leading Lady; Mobile Bay Magazine 40 Under 40; Inaugural Christ the King Award for the Mobile Archdiocese; 50 Under 50 Alabama State University Distinguished Alumni; MCPSS Teacher of the Year; and Alabama Counseling Association Professional Service Award.

Photo by Devin Ford

Tell us why you chose your profession, the value it brings to you and/or the community:

I pursued a career in education because I wanted to be an advocate for those who may not have a voice. Despite the many challenges children may face in their life, education can make the real difference. I believe education has the power to change the trajectory of a person’s life. 

Are you involved with the community, any non profits, etc. and why is that important?

I enjoy serving and working to improve our community and serve on the following boards:  Mobile United, Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama, Community Foundation of South Alabama, and Literacy Coalition of South Alabama.  As a member of the Greater Mobile (AL) Links, Incorporated and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, I have the opportunity to volunteer and contribute a significant amount of direct service hours to the community. 

What is your vision or hope for women in the Mobile and Gulf Coast communities?

I hope for women in the Mobile and the Gulf Coast areas to be inspired and empowered to lead and make a positive impact in our community.

“I hope for women in the Mobile and the Gulf Coast areas to be inspired and empowered to lead and make a positive impact in our community.”
Dr. Monica Motley

How important have education and/or continuing education been to you?

Education played a significant role in my family and in my life. It has been my life’s work and passion. 

How important are relationships/networking to your personal and professional life?

I feel incredibly blessed for the people who have been placed into my personal and professional life.  

Photo by Devin Ford

How do you feel about Forty Over Forty and being a part of it? 

It is indeed an honor to be selected for Forty Over Forty because there are so many outstanding women in our community.

Do you have a mentor? Who are they and how have they helped you? 

I have been blessed with many mentors who have supported me throughout various stages of my life.  They modeled true character and leadership. They encouraged and uplifted me 

You seem to really love what you do, tell us why: 

 I love what I do because it has the potential to be life changing.

What/who inspires you? 

The resiliency of those who faced adversity and refuse to give up and give in inspires me.

How do you take care of yourself everyday so that you stay balanced and centered? 

My faith and prayer life keep me centered and balanced. I also take care of myself by taking time to do what I love, which is spending time with my family and friends. 

What’s the hardest part about being a working mom/wife/single mom? 

The hardest part about being a working wife and mom is the lack of time and trying to fit everything in.  There are so many things to do with such little time.

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