Linda’s 16 years of excellence.

June 22, 2007 at 10:35 am 10 comments

When Linda and I were married in 1972 we were both students at Oregon State University.  While we fully intended for both of us to finish at OSU, for various reasons she took a break and helped me to finish.  Then our daughter Traci was born, seminary years intervened, Brad and Paul were born and her “break turned into almost 20 years.  Finally in 1991, just before turning 40, Linda graduated with highest honors in elementary education from St. Martins University in Olympia, Washington.  It was a great achievement for her to finish her degree while being a mother to 3 very busy children and a wife to a pastor of a growing and thriving church.  Linda is tenacious, hard working and never one to give in to pressure or time constraints.  She just does what needs to be done and does it very, very well.  We were all very proud of her when she took the walk to get her degree.

That fall she was hired at Evergreen Elementary School in Shelton, where she taught 4th and 5th grades, sometimes “looping” which means she would start with a group of students in fourth grade and stay with them through fifth.  There were many changes during her years at Evergreen.  A move to a new school, curriculum changes, something called the WASL, a state test to determine student competency as well as the teacher’s.  When her colleagues would complain about having to teach to that big test, Linda simply said “it is what we have to do, so that is what I will do”. 

Along the way, with the influx of students to our area from Spanish speaking countries, Evergreen adopted a very creative and thus controversial dual language program across all the grades.  It was not a bi-lingual program as many schools have, but a program where half the day is taught in Spanish and half in English, to both Anglo and Hispanic students.  Again probably not what she would have chosen at that point in her life, but a new challenge, one which she accepted the way she always does and she made not only the most of it, she made the best of it.  She took Spanish classes and worked hard to support a program when others around her were not.  That is just the way she is.  Whether she liked something or not she did it because that was her job and responsibility.

Her greatest challenge came during Christmas break of 1994 when our son Paul was killed while hiking with his brother Brad in the mountains near our home.  The last day of ’94 changed everything about her life and of course affected her teaching career as well.  She did not return to the class room for several weeks and then only half days for several more.  But return, she did.  Dealing with her pain and grief in ways that were an inspiration to her students, their parents and her colleagues.  There are a number of young adults in the world today with a better picture of how to face loss and grief with faith, hope and courage because they had Mrs. Scandrett for their teacher during 1995 and 1996.

When we determined there was real value to sending our children to private, Christian colleges for their higher education, Linda was not going to work 9 to 5.  She was not too good for it, she just wanted  more.  Knowing she was going to “have” to work if our kids were to enjoy a private school experience at 25-30K a year, she would need to pay for it and so she became a teacher.  Both Traci and Brad graduated from good schools and without Linda’s effort it would not have happened.  But she never saw it as just a job to pay tuition.  She gave it all she had.  She went early and stayed late.  She worked almost every night at home and all for the kind of money some recent college graduates get in entry level positions in the computer industry.  She gets great satisfaction from doing something well, whatever it is and teaching was something she not only did well, she excelled in it.

Her greatest enjoyment in teaching these last few years has been her relationships with the younger teaching partners she was paired with.  While she was certainly a mentor to them and I’m certain they looked up to her, she never saw them that way.  They were like her kids, there to invest in and she took great pride in their growth as teaching professionals.  When she talks about what she will miss, which she hardly ever does because she is not one to look back, she talks about these young teaching partners, her friends. 

Linda is a great teacher.  She is organized, careful, diligent, responsible, confident, purposeful and determined that each student leave her classroom with the skills they are supposed to have.  Most of them do.  Lately she has enjoyed some older students returning to tell her she was the best teacher they ever had, not because she was their “favorite” teacher necessarily, but because she taught them discipline, hard work and other skills necessary to “do” life.  She had high expectations for her students and higher ones for herself.  She was a model teacher, the kind people can’t be thinking about when they speak poorly of education and educators.

When she started teaching we thought it would be till the kids finished college but she liked it and we enjoyed and invested the money, so we thought 15 years would be a good goal for completing her teaching career.  She missed that goal by one.  Today she completes her 16th and probably final year of full time teaching.  Perhaps she will teach again in some other setting but for now she has earned her “retirement”.

I am so proud of her and thankful for her.  Proverbs 31 says: Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies.  Her husband can trust her, and she will not hinder him but help him all her life.  She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.  She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs with no fear of the future.  When she speaks her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions.  Her children stand and bless her.  Her husband praises her.  There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all! 

That is my Linda and today I, along with her family, celebrate her and her accomplishments as a teacher of excellence.

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Entry filed under: Culture, Family, Friendship, Thoughts.

How was preaching? Monday meanderings.

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. momlovesbeingathome  |  June 24, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    What a beautiful post! What a great tribute to a wife, mother, and teacher here. Thank you for sharing!!

    I also wanted to say I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I’m sure that’s still hard.

  • 2. Kristin  |  June 24, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Linda,
    I have to agree with Maggie. You have taught by example in your actions and your words for years. You always knew the right the thing to say to me when I was in the middle of a decision. You will be missed by your sisters in Christ. Congratulations!

  • 3. gk  |  June 23, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Enjoy your “new” life and all the best.

    GK

  • 4. Ron Marrs  |  June 23, 2007 at 7:35 am

    Linda,

    May God bless you richly as you close one chapter and start another. Others will now get to be blessed by you in different arenas.

    Greg,

    Nice and kind writing to finish the chapter.

    Ron

  • 5. Maggie  |  June 23, 2007 at 4:23 am

    Dearest Friend and Mentor,
    Linda, you are a gift from God! You absolutely have shared the gift of teaching not only to your students chlldren, husband but, also the people around you. There is a special presence about you that allows people to learn from you. You have taught me so many things. To name a few such as, red stiching, cards and envelope art, a whole lot about our Father, the Bible, people, how to handle things that are life changing. I could go on and on. Through everything you do, you do it all with poise and grace. You are truly a woman of impeccable character and a faithful sister in Christ. Both Mike and I love you so much Dear Friend. We are so blessed to have you in our lives! Big hug to you. May God bless you both As you and Greg go forward in your new paths, know that you have a bunch of people that you both have made an impression on, that will or has changed lives for the good. Congratulations, my very dear friend! Thank you! Love, Maggie

  • 6. Warren Scandrett  |  June 22, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    I would like to be a little more original – but I can’t think of a better word than “wow!”.

    The piece was good journalism, Greg, and it was most thoughtful of you to write.it.

    I was glad to read what many of us “sort of” knew.

    A little vignette: Linda let me drive her to Olympia on one occasion so she could study on her way to class. It seems to me this illustrates a bit of her diligence and efficiency.

    On one occasion, however, she did let down the bar just a bit.
    Do you remember when Greg and I returned from fishing with my one fish? Greg had to go the hospital to have a knife cut treated. After stating, “I don’t do fish” she weakened and helped me. Actually my awkwardness even teamed with her expertise was sufficient to ruin the project and I threw the fish away. Thanks for trying,Linda

    Your father-in-law

  • 7. BS  |  June 22, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    MOM…

    you have been an amazing touch of heaven for me!

    thank you for your LOVE, your SUPPORT, BELIEVING IN ME, your KIND HEART, for giving me LIFE, for all of the things dad wrote above, for being the GREATEST MOM a kid could ask for, for being a great MOTHER-IN-LAW to summer, for being the best NANNY to canyon, and for showing me what it means to have REAL FAITH in the one true and living GOD.

    you are the greatest and i love you more than i let you know!

    congrats on 16 unreal years of changes students’ lives!
    you are the BEST teacher i know!

    i LOVE YOU MOM!

    b-

  • 8. Danna  |  June 22, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Wow. . Congrats Linda. All those things said about you I can AMEN. You are awesome and a good and faithful servant. Enjoy reitrement and let me know how it is. I may have to try that myself some day. Love you much.
    Danna

  • 9. btarmsfamily  |  June 22, 2007 at 11:57 am

    As I read this I am reminded anew how wonderful a mother I have. As my dad said she is diligent, hardworking, faithful, creative, passionate, and a wonderful example. I enjoyed so many times discussing “school/teaching” stuff with her. Now we will discuss “mom” stuff. She is always ready to pitch in and help where ever she is needed. She is an awesome nanny(grandma). Thanks mom for being a great teacher both in the classroom and at home with us. So much that I know about being a wife, mother, teacher, and woman is because of your example, lived out daily through all kinds of trials and good times. I know Evergreen Elementary will miss you.
    I love you, MOM!

  • 10. Andy  |  June 22, 2007 at 11:00 am

    I read every blog, every single one! I am not very good in responding but I had to on this one. Linda, you are a truly remarkable person; quietly and consistently affecting lives without any attention to yourself. That’s what Jesus is all about. You are a great example to all the rest of us. The next season of your life will undoubtedly exceed the last one! You are amazing! We love you down here in OK!!

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