Linda Jo: A Teacher Story
I grew up in the Panhandle of Texas. A fact of which, I am very proud. I was raised on a large farm and ranch and started working around 4 or 5, something very common for agriculturally-raised children.
I attended Hartley School, 1st grade through 12th grade, in a building that encompassed all 12 grades. There were 6 in my class, 5 girls and one boy. I played basketball from 5th grade through 12th, because in small schools all kids do everything the school offers. I tell people “I was the best player on the bench”! I also was involved in many other extra-curricular activities, which is very common for students in small school districts.
I graduated salutatorian of my high school class and started to college at TCU in the fall of 1966. I graduated from TCU with a degree in Deaf Education, May of 1970, and started on my first masters at SMU in May of 1970. I graduated from SMU in August of 1971 with a degree in Audiology.
I was employed as a teacher for the deaf in the following districts:
Ft Worth ISD
In August of 1983, I finished my 2nd masters in Administration and was named Director of the Denton Regional Day School for the Deaf in Denton, Texas. I directed a program that brought deaf students of all grade levels in Denton County and the surrounding counties to Denton ISD for their education.
I loved the process of language acquisition; therefore, when I became an administrator and ESL and Bilingual Education were two of my departments that I ran, I felt they were natural fits to teaching deaf children the language they needed to communicate effectively.
In August of 1985, I was named Assistant Special Education Director, Director of Head Start, and Principal of Sullivan-Keller Instructional Center for Denton ISD.
In August of 1987, I took the position of Director of Compensatory Education for Castleberry ISD. I no longer worked with special education but with disadvantaged students. I initially had one department to oversee but each year was given an additional department. In August 1997, I was named Executive Director for Instructional services and directed 15 departments and had a budget of 6.6 million dollars.
I retired from education in 2002. When I retired, I was drawn to the ESL program at our church, Southcliff Baptist Church. I loved working with adults for the first time. It was interesting to see the challenges of teaching the different kinds of languages. I found the adults from Asian countries seemed to have a more difficult time learning the pronunciation of the English language, even though they seemed to pick up the construct of the language more quickly than adults from other locales. I remember helping the people from Croatia who fled the conflicts in the war between Serbia and Croatia in the 1990’s. What a joy to help them in their new country away from their conflicts back home. I also remember one particular family in our ESL program. They came to us from Rwanda by way of Russia. Around 2003-2004 they came to America and settled in Fort Worth. They both had university degrees. They knew English, but they came to our ESL to improve their English skills. We also helped them and their son become citizens.
In 2010, Southcliff Baptist Church asked me to be on the Board of Directors as their representative to the ministry of Christian Community Assistance (CCA). CCA assists disabled people, people who are in a temporary financial crisis, the elderly, disabled, parolees, and homeless people. I began volunteering in the clothing distribution part of this organization. In 2014 I became the vice-president. In 2017 the Director became very ill and was unable to continue in that position. I asked the board if I could interview for the position; I interviewed and was named Director. On March 20, I started in my new position.
I feel so privileged to “work for the Lord” every day of my life. The poor today have vastly more difficult problems to deal with then the poor did when I was growing up. The work force has few jobs available that pay substantially enough to support families. Additionally, the world has more temptations and obstacles that cause people to either hurt their lives temporarily or for the greater portion of their lives. I pray daily for our clients because I know God is allowing us to help them to the extent that we can, and we must trust Him for everything else that they need.
Even though I grew up in church, I came to know the Lord in November of 1969 while at TCU through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. I have studied the Bible extensively since 1969. I love the Lord dearly!!!
I was married to Hugh Massey. He played football at TCU and became a teacher and football/baseball coach after graduation. We have two sons: Richard and Gareld Paul. He was later killed in a car accident.
In 1986, I married Paul Galvan. He has 4 children. This gave me 6 kids to raise. We have 15 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.