When the bell rings July 25 for start of the 2019-20 school year, one notable absence from the teachers’ roll will be easily discernible.
After 35 years in the same Benson High School classroom, Linda Lou Lamb, instructor, adviser and longtime track coach, is calling it a day, capping a career that has spanned nearly 40 years in education.
She’ll miss the students, she said, as well as her colleagues at the high school whom she considers family.
“I’ve had some amazing classes over the years,” said Lamb, discussing her impending retirement. Although she will not be in the classroom, she will continue to coach track.
Benson Unified School District is not Lamb’s only stomping grounds. She’s active in the community, shooting and sharing photographs at various events around the city. She has taught a myriad of classes in her many years in education to include physical education, English, creative writing journalism. She has taught gifted students and this past school year taught graphic design and introduction to film and digital photography and Honors Leadership. She has been the advisor for the Benson Student Council for a long time.
“About 20 years… it’s been awhile, I know that,” she quipped.
Hailing from Saginaw, Michigan, Lamb played basketball at Saginaw Valley and graduated from Central Michigan. She held teaching posts in South Dakota for one year and in St. Johns in the White Mountains for four. She’s quick to answer when asked what it is she loves about teaching at BHS, and where she landed after the four-year stint in St. Johns.
“The students,” she said. “Their creativity, their enthusiasm. The support I get from the parents… I’m going to miss that.” She particularly likes that she’s taught and will continue to coach children of students whom she also taught. “That’s kinda cool,” she said, with a smile.
She’s been particularly fond of her role as student council advisor. “One of the things I’m most proud of this year with my student council… we took the highest award in the state, the Student Council of Outstanding Distinction,” she said. “I’m really proud of that. Our students, have over 3,000 service hours in the community and have worked really hard. We volunteer all over the place.”
Although she will not be in the classroom at the onset of the next school year, Lamb is not saying farewell to her adopted home. She will continue to reside half the year in Benson and continue to coach high school track and field athletes, something she’s done the past 35 years. In total she’s been a head track coach 38 years.
Lamb’s passion for teaching and mentoring students has fit well at BUSD and the community, acknowledged Benson Schools Supt. Micah Mortensen.
“Linda Lou is all about Benson,” said Mortensen. “Five years ago she came into my office with a special sparkle in her eyes and a giant smile to tell me about the 100th year anniversary of Benson High School. What I’ve learned is that she’s graced Benson Schools with that sparkle and smile for 35 years. “She’s truly one of a kind. We will miss her.”
Lamb, recognized by the Benson City Council at a recent meeting for her contributions to the school district and community, was one of the speakers at the BHS graduation exercise on Friday. She asked students to cherish their memories of school and to refrain from having “tunnel vision,” before closing with her signature mantra: “Life is good!”