Early on, Amy Farah saw similarities between her work — teaching teachers how to teach — and the job she could do on the Flowery Branch City Council.
As an assistant professor of teacher education at Georgia Gwinnett College, it’s “how can we produce the best teachers?” For the city, it’s “how can we do … what’s best for the citizens?”
She’ll get the chance soon to find out, as she steps onto the council Jan. 1 for her first four-year term — and her first foray into politics.
“It’s an area that’s kind of new for me,” Farah said. “But the work of the council seemed like something that really translated well to what my work experience was, in terms of sitting in a room of people, talking about what the challenges are and what our goals are, and collaborating to find a way to address all those things.”
Farah’s background is steeped in education, following in the tradition of other family members. Even her husband, Joey, is an educator, serving as a high school assistant principal in Barrow County.
A Gwinnett native, she worked for Gwinnett County schools before taking the position at Georgia Gwinnett College. She also has coached tennis, volleyball and cheerleading.
She moved, newly married, to Flowery Branch 10 years ago. She and Joey have two daughters: Allie, 5, and Carson, 2.
Farah was drawn to local politics after hearing some disenchantment about the city council.
“Once I researched it a little bit, (seeking office) was something that I became interested in,” she said.
She went on to defeat incumbent Councilwoman Monica Beatty for the Post 5 seat in the Nov. 7 election.
Since then, she has met with city officials, including newly re-elected Mayor Mike Miller and City Manager Bill Andrew, to become more familiar with city issues and employees.
Farah has toured the new City Hall, which is scheduled to open in early 2018.
“It’s beautiful and will be very conducive to the work that will be done in the building,” she said. “I’m particularly pleased for the police (department). I’ve toured their old building, and that’s not what they need to conduct their business.”
As far as her plans on the council, “I don’t have an agenda,” Farah said. “I am more focused on getting in there and learning a lot, seeing the lay of the land and understanding more about the budget and what that means for us.
“I know money doesn’t grow on trees. … We all have ideas, but we can’t make it all happen if money’s not there.”
But generally, “I just want to make Flowery Branch a more vibrant place to live,” Farah said. “We’re focused on (improving) Old Town, but I’m certainly committed overall to ... enhancing Flowery Branch, whether that’s in terms of facilities, road maintenance or whatever.”
She has a deep interest in succeeding.
“I don’t have any plans to move,” Farah said. “There are folks in my similar stage of life who want to stay here, so I want to help make it an even better place to live.”