If you were to follow Amy Beth Dobbins through life she’d have you on your toes every step of the way. The Oklahoma-born educator, litigator, counselor, and author rarely hits the pause button and instead faces life with the tenacity and can-do attitude she inherited from her father and the strong faith her mother passed on to her. The result is a combination of grit, grace, and humor that’s all Amy Beth. Life experiences helped Dobbins learn to adapt to unexpected circumstances, embrace challenges as invitations to learn something new, and roll with the punches when necessary.
A writer at heart with a love for teaching and a natural tendency to advocate for others, Dobbins chose to major in English Education at the University of Central Oklahoma with the intent of teaching English and following her lifelong dream of practicing law after graduation. She made the most out of her time at UCO while working, dedicating herself to her studies and still managing to partake in character-enriching programs including the Christian sorority, Kappa Phi and UCO’s Student Senate.
“Those were great years of my life,” Dobbins said. “I learned skills I wouldn’t have learned without being at UCO and I made lifelong friendships in the process. It’s really true what they say about regional universities - you’re able to have big city opportunities without being in a big city.”
The strong educational foundation Dobbins received at UCO allowed her to succeed in her student teaching during her senior year and then as a high school English teacher after graduation. Dobbins later applied to law school, received her juris doctorate, and spent eleven years as a practicing attorney.
“I primarily worked in insurance defense and general practice as an attorney, but for a short while, I was court-appointed to represent children in juvenile-deprived matters - cases of abuse and neglect. That, coupled with having my own two children, cemented what I suspected already, that no matter the job title or position, I would always be a child advocate.”
Her time advocating for Oklahoma’s youth led Dobbins back to education. She earned a counseling certificate and worked as a middle school counselor and high school career tech advisor.
“I’ve never had just one passion,” Dobbins said. “I’ve spent half of my career in law and the other half in education with the hope of eventually finding some way to bring the two fields together.”
As fate would have it, opportunities in the field of education, bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic, grew and expanded. A little over a year ago, Dobbins accepted an offer to work in legal compliance at Stride, Inc., an ed-tech company that offers both online educational opportunities for students as well as support for brick-and-mortar schools.
In her role at Stride, Dobbins works with the company’s teams to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
In her spare time, Dobbins loves to write. Her freelance articles have been published over thirty times and she has authored The Last Leg, a novel about moving forward in faith despite facing obstacles. Dobbins is currently working on writing the sequel to her first novel. She lives in Oologah, Oklahoma with her husband, Paul and their children, Garen and Addie.
Dobbins said her father, Gary and mother, Kay, have always been her role models and taught her to never give up on her faith, herself, her loved ones or her dreams.
“They taught me the value of education at a very young age. Learning and growing is a treasured privilege,” she said. “There’s so much that life experiences can teach us, and to have a solid, quality education serve as your foundation is priceless. I’m so grateful for my time at UCO.”