When I was asked to write an article about Linda, I was both gladdened and terrified to do so. Gladdened in the sense of recognizing Linda for all the achievements accomplished and terrified I might miss any one accomplishment more important in her eyes.
To describe Linda in simple terms: She is a kind, caring, loving, and passionate person with a strong faith in God. She loves to read, sing, swim, spend time with our family, learn new skills, and teach. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, active church member, community chorus member and parent educator. She is the person I have been blessed to be married to for the last 38 years come this June.
Linda has three children; Richard, III, Diana, and Susan along with two grandchildren, Brianna and Charlotte. She has been married to Richard York Jr. since 1975. She is the daughter of Frances and Harold Sheldick, sister to Eileen, Paul and Bruce. She grew up in South Windsor and was an active member of the Sunday School and PYF at Wapping Community Church. Graduating from South Windsor High School with honors, she furthered her education by earning her Bachelor of Arts degree at Central Connecticut State College and her Master’s degree from Southern Connecticut State College. Both degrees were accomplished while earning high honors.
Linda began her 35+ year teaching profession in Windsor in 1974 in the only job available – preschool special education. She soon fell in love with this age group and returned to preschool in Tolland after taking a break to raise her own preschool children. In Tolland, she built a strong intervention program for children with special needs, which has had lasting positive effects for her students. She wrote grants to obtain materials and equipment, helped to write a grant to create Tolland’s Family Resource Center, wrote curriculum, served as the special education program leader, taught parent education classes, taught in the summer school program, and volunteered to help on many PTO and Family Resource Center functions. Recently she started Tolland’s ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) program for children who need intense individual programs to be successful in school. Her accomplishments lead her to be named Tolland’s Teacher of the Year for 2013. Even with this honor, Linda believes her greatest contribution to education is the work she does every day with children to help them reach high achievement in all areas of development, by including them in their regular classroom/school curriculums, providing family resources, and facilitating social friendships and involvement in their community.
Linda has been an active member of BBCC since 1982. She sings in the choir of BBCC and with the South Windsor Community Chorus. She has been chairperson of the Missions Committee for the last 18 years. Being an educator, she has been part of BBCC’s Christian Education and Sunday School since the first day she joined BBCC serving many roles including child care, teaching, being Superintendent, and helping on many special projects. Friendships made at BBCC and the church itself has been an important part of her life.
Linda has a favorite quote from Charles Swindoll which seems to describe Linda’s outlook on life as well as how she deals with life’s trials and tribulations. “Life is 10 percent of what happens to you and ninety percent of how you react to it.” She has quoted this saying many times to help myself and our three children through many a real or perceived catastrophes. She is our family’s rock and strength. I thank God each day for bringing Linda and I together as husband and wife and pray we have at least another 30 plus years together.