remember teachers love
May 2003) Time has not dulled the many fond memories
of Phamy (Mullikin) Amin.
The 83-year-old retired teacher, known as Miss Phamy to
her students, taught school in Trimble County, Ky., for 36 years.
The third child in a family of 12, Amin grew up in central Kentucky.
She began attending school at age 4 while living with her grandparents
in Rockcastle County. Even at such a young age, Amin walked more than
a mile to school by herself each day.
I had to walk through a cemetery, but I wasnt
scared, said Amin, I guess I was just taught that there
was no reason to be.
Amin said her first career goal was to be a nurse but that she soon
decided she would rather teach. To fulfill her goal, she attended college
for two years, all that was required at the time, and soon took a teaching
position in rural Trimble County.
Amin recalled her early days teaching in a one-room school house beginning
in 1948, where she taught grades 1 through 8.
Later, the school was closed and Amin transferred to Milton Elementary,
where she taught until her retirement in 1984. While at Milton, Amin
taught sixth and seventh grades and finally first grade for the last
22 years of her career.
Amin said she enjoyed teaching children the fundamentals, like reading,
spelling and math.
Frequently, her first grade students out-ranked others in the county
in their math test scores, Amin said.
But although she was a proficient teacher, its Amins kind
heart that is best remembered by most of the students who passed through
One former student, Dana Cassell, remembered her first year of school
in Amins class. She really loved kids, and she didnt
mind giving hugs, Cassell said.
Amin also remembered Cassell. She sat on my lap the whole year,
Amin recalled. Cassell, a teacher herself for the past 18 years, followed
in Amins footsteps. She currently teaches first grade at Bedford
Elementary in Trimble County and said Amin was the kind of teacher she
aspired to be. She was one of the role models I looked to when
I was growing up, Cassell said.
Cassell wasnt Amins only protégé. J.W. Sachleben
was taught by Amin from 1952 to 1954 at Milton Elementary, where he
later became principal in 1971. Sachleben worked as principal of the
school for 12 years before becoming Trimble Countys Superintendent
of Schools in 1983.
Sachleben also had good memories of Amin. She did a good job of
teaching but was also interested in you as a student, said Sachleben,
She always went above and beyond.
Sachleben, who had the unique experience of being both a student and
colleague of Amin, said that she was well respected by both students
and peers. Fellow Milton Elementary School teacher and friend, Catherine
Yager, remembered Amins hard work and devotion, both in and out
of the classroom.
She really worked hard, I dont know of anyone who worked
harder than Phamy, said Yager, now retired.
In addition to teaching, Amin drove a school bus, worked for HeadStart,
raised a garden, took care of animals, milked cows and raised two kids
of her own while helping out other families when she could, Yager said.
She was also devoted to finishing her education, which she did by attending
school on Saturdays at Spalding University in Louisville, where she
graduated in 1963. Amin lived in Trimble County for most of her teaching
career. She married her second husband, Amiel Amin Sr., and moved to
Madison, Ind., in the early 1970s. She currently resides at The Waters
of Clifty Falls in Madison.
Three of Amins grandchildren, Todd, Kevin and Jeff Mullikin, still
reside in Trimble County, while two others, Mark and Kim Pinkerton live
in Marion, Ind.
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