An Educational Legacy: Tribute to Mrs. Linda Slater


Chloe Ryhal, Junior Staff Writer

An online source defines a teacher as: “… a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values.” An effective teacher however, is so much more:  someone who makes a lasting impact on people’s lives and hearts through education; someone who generates such enthusiasm for a subject that the desire to master that subject becomes infectious with students; someone who advises, guides and often spends more time with young people than the parents of those young ones do. Linda Slater, a former Spanish/English teacher here at HHS, was all of the above and so much more.  Her most recent and somewhat sudden passing in October sent a wave of sympathy and sorrow through the halls of Hubbard High. Everyone who knew Mrs. Slater felt grief, but also a sense of relief that this very special teacher was no longer suffering. This article is a memorial tribute to her.

Linda Slater, born on October 1, 1952, grew up and graduated from Hubbard, earning her teaching degree in both Spanish and English from Youngstown State University.  Mrs. Slater was a stay-at-home mom for some years, raising her two sons, and then returned to the education field.  She spent a short time as a substitute before she began teaching full-time at her home school, HHS, and spent the next 30 years guiding students in the mastery of both Spanish and English. It is most appropriate to note that Mrs. Slater served as the advisor to the HUB newspaper when it was still a print edition for almost 10 years; therefore, this tribute to her memory will appear here as a featured story on the present HUB news site.

Although Mrs. Slater spent many years as both a loving mother, and more recently a grandmother, students’ and colleagues’ experiences with her as their teacher and friend are the focus of this article, as it should be.  Many of Mrs. Slater’s students spoke highly of her. Sophomore Megan Long, remembers the enjoyable times she had in her Spanish I class. She states, “It’s hard to remember all parts of last year, but I know that we had a lot of fun. “She always showed us interesting Spanish videos, and she made a lot of jokes that everyone would laugh about.  Mrs Slater was always trying to make the learning process more fun–especially for her younger students. When someone would mess up, a few people would laugh, but no matter what, she pushed us until we could get it right!” Another student,  junior Matt Ondo, recalls,  “The most memorable thing, aside from all the language instruction, was Mrs. Slater herself. She was like a grandmotherly figure whom everybody had known in their lives at some point and didn’t want to let go of.”

However, students were not the only ones who were positively affected by the presence of Mrs. Linda Slater. Her fellow Spanish teacher and friend, Mrs. Anna Badurik, remembers a lot about her time working with Mrs. Slater. She recalls the kind nature of her fellow colleague.  “What most impressed me about her was that she was very patient and always very compassionate. When I was a student teacher, she was my mentor teacher, and when I was learning from her, she was always very supportive. I still use some of the techniques that she taught me in my own teaching.” She added sadly,  “I’m truly going to miss our friendship and her advice.”

Mrs. Lisa Shattuck began her teaching career here at HHS a year after Mrs. Linda Slater.  Mrs. Shattuck states that she admired Mrs. Slater’s resilience and flexibility.  “Some of the time, Linda worked with us solely in the English department; other years, she taught in both Spanish and English.  Then, she was transferred for a time to the elementary school, and it amazed me how well she adapted to that challenge, loving it more than she ever thought she would.”

Principal Ms. Brandie Yobe added her comments about Mrs. Slater and her impact as a teacher here at HHS.  She stated: “I have had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Slater for 11 years.  She was a kind and gentle leader in the classroom. She would take every challenge presented to her in stride. I admire her strength and resilience.  Her compassionate and caring personality will be missed by all at Hubbard High School.”

Linda Slater’s kind and quiet smile, her patient and compassionate nature, and her resiliency and adaptability will be missed by both students and teachers; however, these aspects will not be forgotten. These memories, and what she left as her legacy reminds us that she is still teaching. These past 30 years have made a mark, and anyone who had her as a student or worked with her as a colleague will keep her influence close to their hearts.