When we met the lovely Mrs. Washington-Poole, she charmed us with not only her gift for conversation and sparkling wit, but her fashionable attire and striking accessories. Born and raised in Marion County by a dedicated single parent, the spirited 70-year old attended the College of Central Florida and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee before returning home to her beloved mother Frankie Lee Washington and firstborn son Mel. “I cried and came home!” After working in the field of education for many years, she recently opened Precious Oaks, a premier event venue in Ocala.
Three words that describe you?
I’m very creative. Interior decorating is my favorite pastime. According to others, I’m also inspirational, especially to the students I have mentored. Lastly, I’m tenacious. The word “can’t” isn’t even allowed in my house.
Describe your personal style?
I prioritize elegance most of all and I have eclectic taste. I mesh elements from the most diverse of styles in order to create my own.
Do you shop vintage or thrift?
I have found many hidden treasures in local thrift shops, like Goodwill and Sherriff’s Ranches Enterprises.
My favorite hair salon is Inspired Creation Beauty Salon. My go-to nail salon is Perfect Ten Nails.
Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse. It engulfs you in an unbelievably cozy and relaxing atmosphere, all while serving the best steak in town.
Favorite place to enjoy nature?
I really enjoy biking the Santos trails with my three sons when the weather’s nice; it has 80+ miles to challenge beginners like me.
Favorite day trip?
I love to visit the many breathtaking lakes and springs in the area and watch the sunrise, hoping to catch a hog of a fish. It’s great for relaxation and motivation. Being a nature lover, I love floating on a tube down the Rainbow River. It’s breathtaking!
I’m known to some as Tina, Mrs. P, Mrs. Poole and Precious.
Something most people don’t know about you?
I was chosen by my peers to receive the 28th annual Gabor Employee Recognition Award in the category of Career Services for the years 2016 and 2017; it’s a prestigious award that was created to recognize outstanding service to College of Central Florida students, the college, and the community.
Most treasured possession?
My children Vipond, Mel, Vimel, Mya and Arvelle, as well as the rest of my family are invaluable. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in this world.
Best book you read in the last year?
Becoming by Michelle Obama—It is a powerful and inspiring book by an amazing first lady. I had the opportunity to meet and work with her on President Obama’s campaign trail. It was one of the highlights of my life. Attending the President’s inauguration was an experience of a lifetime! Remember to vote, the choice is yours! Don’t vote, the choice is theirs!
Favorite saying you live by?
“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” I’ve always made it a point to remember this as “life happens” and I made sure my children learned it as well. Some people enter your life for only a short time but teach you lifelong lessons on what you want and don’t want. Others may stay for a while, long enough for you to get attached and love, just before their time with you comes to an end. When it comes to staying a lifetime, family is the only group of people you know who will never leave. Friends may come and go, but family is forever.