Reading and writing instructor retires, fulfilled by time at IVCC

Katie Alleman, IV Leader Culture Editor

As of Dec. 31, after 20 years of teaching at IVCC, Linda Thomas will be retired.
For the first 3 and a half years of her time at IVCC, she was a part time teacher, but has been full time for the last 16 and a half years.
Before teaching at IVCC, Thomas taught at junior high and high schools. Altogether, Thomas’ career lasted a memorable 45 years
After a fulfilling career as a teacher, she decided it was time to retire. Mrs. Thomas said that she thought it was her turn to give
newer students a chance to teach.
Thomas was inspired by her son, who wants to be an art teacher at a community college, and she knew that there are many others like him.
Thomas has made plans for her time away from IVCC. In retirement, Thomas hopes to gain some of the hours that were lost on her long commute to IVCC. She said that her drive was a 3-hour commitment, and even though it is a beautiful setting, she has better use for the hours.
During her retirement, she plans to spend time with her 2 sons, daughter-in-laws, and 6 grandchildren. Thomas will have more time to visit them and travel with her sisters.
In between visits, she plans to fill up time with her different hobbies and look for a part time job. She wants to find a job she finds meaningful, but most of all, she plans to use her time to just enjoy life.
Originally, Thomas was just an English teacher. However, after years of experience as a teacher, she noticed students struggling in English also struggled with reading.
When Thomas noticed the correlation between writing and reading comprehension skills, she decided to act on it. Thomas returned to Wisconsin Madison University to earn a degree as a Reading Specialist.
Thomas says she has 2 memories that have stuck with her through all her years at IVCC. One of her former students received the teacher of the year award. The student mentioned Thomas in her acceptance speech, which gave her a feeling of joy. Thomas felt as though she had impacted her students’ life.
Another memory is when 2 students that work with Tina Hardy from Thomas’ 0900 class mentioned she helped them get started at IVCC.
Since Thomas herself had been a first generation college student, she had a deeper understanding of how to help them be successful.
Dr. Jerry Corcoran, president of IVCC, complimented her ability to model the IVCC core values.
Dr. Corcoran’s fondest memory of Thomas was during the faculty forums held once a semester where “her questions and comments were always positive, professional and productive.” He also recalled her passion for students’ success.
Although Thomas may be anxious to enjoy her free time, there are a few aspects of IVCC that she will miss. For Thomas, it will be difficult to leave behind IVCC’s students, faculty, staff, and campus.