Joe Diamond is very familiar with the Pensacola State College classroom that is now named for his mother – Dr. Marie M. Diamond.
He used to teach in the room. In fact, Diamond ─ the program director for Pensacola State College from 1980 to 2009 ─ taught his mother in Room 3702, now known as the Dr. Marie M. Diamond EMT and Paramedic Classroom, located in Building 3700 on the Warrington campus.
“She would talk a lot,’’ Joe Diamond said of the experience of teaching his own mother. “Please be quiet, Mrs. Diamond. Please be quiet, Mrs. Diamond. Mother, be quiet!”
“She was so unique,’’ he said. “And she always wanted to learn something new.”
Marie Diamond not only earned her EMT certification when she was in her 50s, she would go on to earn her Doctor of Education degree at age 77, after finishing a 30-year career as an Escambia County School District teacher.
PSC named the classroom in Diamond’s honor to celebrate her commitment to learning and education as a first responder at the request of the First Responders Luncheon Committee, which raised more than $47,000 to establish the First Responders Scholarship at the College. The scholarship is awarded to students in programs of study that align with the expertise needed by emergency responders, especially emergency medical services.
Marie Diamond was a lifelong learner, despite having to drop out of high school at a young age when she became pregnant.
“After receiving her GED at age 31, Marie raised her family and had a 30-year teaching career,’’ said PSC President Ed Meadows. “When she retired at the age of 70, she completed her doctoral program.”
Joe Diamond said his mother was dedicated to knowledge and education.
“She grew up dirt poor up in Century,’’ he said. “But she always wanted to be a teacher.”
In her late 20s, when the family was living off Creighton Road, she would send her kids off to school then walk to Pensacola Junior College, which became PSC in 2010.
“She was told she would never amount to anything,’’ Joe Diamond recalled. “But she did so much and impacted so many people.”