Brenda Lyn Wordell Gill
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
This is a quote she wears on her bracelet. Brenda is not very tall but those who know her would describe her as someone that is persistent and strong. She is a go-getter. She is my mom.
Brenda Lyn Wordell was born in May of 1973, at St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her parents are Roger and Noreen Wordell. She has one older brother, Bradford Wordell, making Brenda the youngest child. She was a normal baby with parents that loved her a lot. She lived in Little Compton all of her childhood. She even went to Wilbur & McMahon school as a student.
Brenda had an awesome childhood. Her mom was lucky enough to stay home while Brenda and Brad were kids. When she did go to work, she worked in the school where Brenda and her brother went. Brenda’s cousins lived close by, so she was never without a playmate. They enjoyed going to the beach together, and they still do to this day! They are so close, that Brenda has become an honorary “sister” to her cousins. Every Friday in the summertime is considered “Sisters Day” where they all meet at Briggs Beach and spend the day together. As a child, Brenda enjoyed the outdoors and loved ballet and gymnastics.
When she was about ten, she had a ballet teacher who brought her to Boston to see if she would be interested in attending the Boston Conservatory. They took a bus from Fall River with her mom. It was a long ride. In the end, she ended up not going because it was a big decision and it would be a big lifestyle change. She would have to be homeschooled and take a bus to Boston every day. She did not feel ready for that.
Brenda thought that she wanted to be a professional dancer. She dreamed of being on Broadway! She had always loved being on stage, performing. She practiced whenever she got the chance. This led her to be a great dancer. Her favorite role was being Dorothy, from the Wiz. She loved the sound of the audience’s applause for a good performance. She was so into dance that she taught dance classes in Tiverton at the Creative Dance Studio at the age of twelve. These were the best years of her life. She made friends that she still has today. She loved teaching, and from then on, she knew she was going to be a teacher.
After she graduated from Middletown High School, she went to Plymouth State College (now Plymouth University). She majored in education and psychology. She loved living in New Hampshire and was happy to have the opportunity to leave Little Compton for a few years. She eventually came back, and got her first teaching job in Fall River, at Atlantis Charter School teaching second grade. She also went back to school for her master’s degree at Lesley University. She taught there for nine years and then went to a new job in Somerset, Massachusetts. She still works today teaching third grade.
A few things Brenda is proud of are her two children, Braden and Sofie. One thing she always says is that she is raising two “good humans”. Another thing she’s proud of is building her own house by herself. She was given the land from her grandmother, Edith, on her 13th birthday. When she was thirteen, she didn’t really care about having her own land. When she was an adult, she realized how lucky she really was! She built the house before she had a husband and kids and was involved in all aspects of it. She did all the painting, banged a lot of nails, learned to use power tools, and made every decision. It was A LOT of work. She spent all her life savings on building the house. She said she “felt empowered as a woman to say, ‘I did this!’.” The last thing she is proud of is going to graduate school.
Some of Brenda’s influences include her parents. Her dad, Roger, influenced her with his knowledge and understanding of business and money and general knowledge of the world. Her mom, Noreen, influenced her sense of nurturing and caring and the importance of family. Also, some of her teacher friends inspire her professionally, her cousins who are like sisters to her and influence the importance of family, and her close friends inspire her to be a better person every day. She says her husband brings her balance in life because he helps her with most everything! Finally, she is influenced by her kids who make her see everything in a different light and appreciate the “small stuff”. She said she always knew she meant to be a mom.
All in all, my mother, Brenda, is a woman who is an example of “Though she be but little, she is fierce”. She has accomplished so much in her life and never let anything get in her way.
Based on an interview with Brenda (Wordell) Gill, conducted on March 20, 2020.
Written by: Braden Lasso, Grade 5 – Wilbur & McMahon School