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A small town love story shaped by the city of Athens

The husband-and-wife duo have taught at Athens Middle School for over twenty years.

ATHENS, Ala. — Kim and Martin Bailey have been teachers at Athens Middle School for over twenty years. 

The Baileys teach 7th and 8th grade, and have shaped thousands of lives in the last two decades.

There are 25,406 people  people living in Athens, according to the U.S Census Bureau, and this husband and wife duo has watched the small town grow into a booming city.

Coach Bailey says, "You know, when you start talking [about] education, from a teacher standpoint, numbers are a big deal. And our numbers have slowly slowly increased."

Mrs. Kim Bailey adds, "Yeah, sort of when we started off it was...'I have 22 in my classroom? Yeah!'  And then now it's like, 'I have 30?' Yeah... I have only 30 in my classroom!"

The Baileys have been around long enough to see the city of Athens grow by 25% in the last decade.  

And the biggest change? Technology. 

"Technology has made a major [difference]," Coach Bailey explains. "I'd say technology is probably the biggest thing that I've seen change and I don't necessarily mean it's bad. 

Coach Bailey explains how technology has impacted his classroom, "There's a lot of good that comes out of technology. Information is readily available and how you get that [information]  is a whole different game."

Not only is technology growing, so is the city itself. Athens is the largest town in Limestone County and there are almost a thousand kids at Athens Middle School with more to come.

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks explains, "And as you know, we've built a new high school. We're in the building plans right now and have the footprint laid out of a new as in elementary school about 66,000 square feet."

And the city of Athens just approved a $34 million dollar budget. That's almost two million dollars more than last year's, which will really help educators.

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