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Teacher Margie Brand travels around world but stays close to home

English teacher Margie Brand travels Ireland. (M. Brand)

To English teacher Margie Brand, there is nothing more important than family.

She has lived all over – Chicago, southern Illinois, Miami, Gainesville, San Francisco, Alaska, but through it all, she knows the importance of family.

Six children – Andrew, Michael, Julie, Jim, Kate, and Tom.

“That’s the order I go down when I yell at them, when I can’t get the right name right away,” she says.

Her occupation until she began teaching full-time? Stay-at home mom.

“I was very fortunate to be able to do that, because my husband had a job [as a United Airlines pilot] that allowed me to.”

Even as a fulltime mother did she periodically substitute teach in southern Illinois and Florida.

You could say the Brands have adventure in their blood. Her favorite place to visit is Ireland, where she’s been five times. She loves the historic places, the friendly people, her own ancestry.

“It’s a beautiful place. I’ve been there five times.”

Brand herself was born and raised in Chicago, and moved all over with her husband after college.

“I’ve liked [all the places we’ve lived] for many different reasons – except for Alaska, that’s a good place to be from.”

Brand remembers the long, cold winter they lived there, where it dropped to 50 and 60 below for two months straight.

In stark contrast: “I loved Florida,” she says. “I’m still a Gators fan.”

She enjoyed San Francisco immensely, but above all, her family is in Illinois.

She has 14 grandchildren, and the last two are identical twin girls. It’s a zoo when they all get together.

Aside from being a fulltime mother, she picked a befitting profession in teaching.

“I love what I do, and if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”

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