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A passion for education: Get to know Lynda Irvin

DeGarmo Hall

DeGarmo Hall at Illinois State University.

As a teacher, principal, superintendent, and volunteer, Lynda Irvin has relentlessly taken up a variety of roles to educate children.

Having been the recipient of several scholarships, including the Hubbard Hickrod Scholarship in the College of Education, Irvin strongly felt the need to give back to the institution she loves the most. She started the Irvin Family Endowed Scholarship in memory of her father in 2009 on the recommendations of Diane Ashby and Stephanie Epp. Her father, she remembers, was a secret philanthropist and believed in education for all.

“Illinois State University is absolutely tremendous, and I think they come from a place of core values and democratic ideal, and this is what all the schools should be using to develop and use in their programs.” – Lynda Irvin

The purpose of this scholarship is to support students seeking a Ph.D., preferably students in P–12 systems interested in social justice, advocacy, and equality. When asked as to why she strongly supports the K–12 students, she said, “I believe in the democratic ideal.”

Realizing the democratic ideal is the conceptual framework of Illinois State’s teacher education programs. Through the emphasis on intellectual and ethical commitments, candidates at Illinois State are prepared to take leadership roles as educators in our democratic society. “I expect future P–12 leaders to live, breathe, eat, and sleep the democratic ideal. Therefore, when they enter the P–20 system, they can do it for others. This is a rolling plan. This is legacy,” said Irvin.

Irvin believes in the power of inclusiveness. She’s always believed P–12 education should be open for all and loves the program developed by Illinois State.

“Illinois State University is absolutely tremendous, and I think they come from a place of core values and democratic ideal, and this is what all the schools should be using to develop and use in their programs.”

In her free time, Irvin volunteers and donates to a Sarasota County program that provides weekend meals to students in need. In addition, Irvin is an avid traveler and has visited several European countries, such as Switzerland, Germany, France, and Italy. Participating in church activities, reading nonfiction books, and volunteering in an autism center are some of the other activities Irvin engages in during her free time.

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