Linda Lyon made her retirement announcement during an All College meeting in a rather unusual way. She was delivered in a huge box stamped for delivery to Florida. Since her official June 30, 2009 retirement date, she remains active writing, gardening, knitting, reading and freelancing public relations and publication work while generally enjoying retirement! This is not surprising as she held Mayo State Vocational Technical Schools, and, after consolidation, Big Sandy Community and Technical Colleges Director of Public Relations position prior to her retirement. Oh, did I mention she is writing a book.
Lindas career background is varied. After receiving her Bachelor in Science in Elementary Education with an Art Education minor from Pikeville College, she pursued and obtained her Master of Arts in Elementary Education from Eastern Kentucky University. She taught in various school systems, worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and was/is a former business owner. In 1985, she decided to seek employment at MSVTS.
She was employed on August 16, 1985. As the Academic Enrichment Center Coordinator/teacher, Linda also was involved with staff development and media coordination as well as an advisor for VICA. Linda said, I oversaw the network wiring of Mayo, Hager Hill and the new campus at Pikeville. Yes, I crawled the ceilings and under the desks when it was necessary to do so. I installed and trained staff in email, internet usage and it was a fun period of my life. It was when I became a techie. There was a time when I ran the entire colleges network with three dialups and a server in my office. Those were interesting years. Enjoying challenges, she assumed the role of MSVTSs Director of Public Relations and transitioned into BSCTCs position on the Prestonsburg campus once the consolidation was finalized.
Her employment at Mayo had special meaning for her as she could now pay forward the opportunities provided to her father by the colleagues who had served her father, a former Mayo student. She said, My father went to Mayo in its early years, right after a war that devastated him in body, mind, and soul. The people at Mayo helped him heal and taught him new skills that made it possible for him to become whole again. I can never repay the debt for that, but, hopefully, I have passed along something that has helped others realize their dreams at BSCTC.
When asked what working at Mayo and BSCTC meant to her, she said Working at the College gave me an opportunity to impact the lives of students in eastern Kentucky in a way that nothing else ever did. I hardly ever go anywhere that I dont meet a former student who says thank you or tells me what it meant to them to attend Mayo, PCC or BSCTC. The impact the students had on my life will stay with me for the rest of mine. Through my work at the colleges, I believe I made a difference and thats all I would ever ask. I am proud to have deep roots here in these mountains and firmly believe that an education is the key to staying here, staying productive, and being successful without having to leave home.
Linda has two children: William Hamilton, who owns and operates a tractor trailer for Conway; and, Becky, a social worker living in Iowa. Both are graduates of BSCTC.
To catch up with Linda, feel free to email her firstname.lastname@example.org.