Guidance clerk to make 10th and final move to Alabama


After working in the guidance department for the past year, Amy Lake will leave the school for Pike Road, Ala., by the end of May. For Lake and her husband, Alabama will be their 10th and final move.

“My husband’s retiring from the military so we’re going to grow some roots and let our kids stay with the same school and friends, and they get to graduate with the same kids,” Lake said.

Her husband’s military position has allowed her family of four to move around the country and internationally.

“Our first was Rapid City, South Dakota,” Lake said. “And then from there we moved to Enid, Oklahoma, and that’s where I had my son. And then we moved up to St. Louis, Missouri. And that’s where we had our daughter, and then we moved to Germany. And then we moved to Alaska. And then from Alaska, we went to Alabama, and then Alabama to Boston, and then Boston to Florida. And then Florida, back to Alabama. Yeah, we bounced around.”

Overall, she has a positive outlook on the military’s effect on her life.

“We love the experience, and the diversity in the culture we’ve experienced, and I think our kids have been really well-rounded with that,” she said. “I can see different perspectives that they have than other kids I’ve seen. I feel like they’re more open-minded. They’ve been exposed to more things, but maybe that’s just me being the mom, seeing them.”

Seventh-grader Avery, her daughter, said the next move will be her seventh.

“It’ll be different,” Avery said. “I’ll probably like it more. I don’t have to go to a different school every two years. I’m looking forward to living next to my best friend, and I also like our house.”

Nikita S., a seventh-grader, became close friends with her a few months into the school year. During one of their outings together, Nikita visited the military housing area where Avery lives.

“It was interesting because where I live, it’s not like a gated community,” Nikita said. “And over there, there was a commissary and you could see all the planes and everything. So it was really interesting because for them they’ve had to deal with it all their lives.”

As someone who has always known military life, Avery said each new home presents its own challenges.

“One thing is that base housing is really boring,” she said. “[There’s] no design. And there really aren’t any military kids, or they’re really young. Also, I think it’s just Florida that makes it boring because it’s really hot at times. Boston had really cold weather, history and you could walk around a lot. And it wouldn’t be really hot outside.”

Lake has also encountered difficulties in the years she’s spent moving.

“The military life – it took me a couple moves to realize it was our life and it was a little different than civilian life, she said. “Some friends that I made didn’t understand it. I’ve had people that didn’t want to develop friendships with me because they knew I was going to move and they didn’t want to kind of waste their time and lose a friend. So that was hard to do and accept.”

To occupy herself, Lake has found work at the schools her children attended, with this being her first high-school job.

“I’ve worked almost at every place and I try to work at the schools because it works with my kids’ schedule,” Lake said. “It just works for me to stay busy and be around people. I enjoy that and I enjoy kids and just the school environment. That’s not my number one priority. When we move I try to get the kids settled and make sure everything’s good with the house and medical and the dog. If an opportunity comes up to get a job, I would.”

Nikita and Avery often eat lunch together in the guidance office, where Lake has worked this past year. Being able to talk with Avery and her mother on a regular basis allowed Nikita to develop a close bond with both.

“I am sad that their family is moving away because they were the one family I was very close to during the school year,” Nikita said. “It’s going to be different when they’re not around because I felt like I could really talk to their family. And I got to learn about the moving and they told me about their favorite places.”

Although Lake said she would keep moving if given the option, she acknowledges that her children have mixed feelings.

“I think my biggest thing is being a mom and seeing my kids be happy,” she said.” [Avery’s] not losing her friends, but it’s hard to make them do something that they have no choice. I know my son has said multiple times that he just wants to grow up with someone because we move every two years, so I’m glad to be able to finish his high school with the same people and he’ll be able to graduate with people he knows rather than move. So I’m really glad that they get a little stability. It has been stable moving, but they’re getting tired of it. I’m glad we can do that for them.”

The life Lake has now is a sharp contrast to her childhood when she attended the same school from kindergarten to 12th grade, but she said as an adult she is now realizing how invaluable her travels have been.

“Growing up in one spot in North Dakota, people are more narrow-minded and not very open to new things,” she said. “But definitely moving around a lot – how can it not change your perspective on everything? And just living in different cultures and experiencing different people, it’s been awesome. The friends we have and how they’ve impacted our life – you wouldn’t get that if you stayed in one spot.”

By Rhea Sinha