Meet Linda Kelly, a 39-year resident of North Olmsted and retired teacher. Linda moved to North Olmsted from Lyndhurst, Ohio in 1977 when her sons were starting school. Having a sister who had lived in North Olmsted for ten years prior, Linda knew that North Olmsted was the right place for her family to grow, especially because of the well-known school system. Within a few years, Linda became more involved with North Olmsted schools when she started working as a career education coordinator for North Olmsted through Polaris Career Center. Linda was later employed as a kindergarten teacher at Birch and then Butternut Elementary.
Linda remembers an exciting time in North Olmsted’s history, from the city’s annual fireworks to the opening of the North Olmsted Recreation Center, which even used to have toboggan chutes. She recalls when the mall only had a single-story department store and a few other shops. Linda also laughed about the change in gas prices as well. “I just bought a new car, and my dad handed me a five dollar bill at the dealership and told me to fill up the tank.”
Now in her retirement, Linda is a Lead Tour Manager for a company that takes students on school trips. She’s recently lead trips to Toronto, Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C. However, she says that her favorite place in the world to visit is London because of the mixture of old and established culture with newer style. Linda even went on a 9,000 mile road trip around the United States, but she is still happy to make North Olmsted her home.
What is your favorite part about living in North Olmsted?
“I love to spend time at our library, does that count? But I also love my neighborhood. It’s really all about the people here, everyone is so friendly. And everything I need is right nearby. I could walk to go buy groceries if I wanted to. And I like to ride my bike. I used to ride it to work and to the library all the time.”
How have you been involved in your community?
“I was very active in the PTA when my kids were growing up and I later got involved with the levy committee. I was also a member of the Junior Women’s club. We used to go to nursing homes and play bingo with residents, we helped organize a children’s clinic at the library and even awarded a big scholarship, but my favorite part was being in the homecoming parades.”
What are your favorite memories from teaching in North Olmsted?
“When I was a career education coordinator for Polaris Career Center, I arranged for a North Olmsted student to shadow Toby Cosgrove (current President and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic) during an open heart surgery. That student actually went on to be a heart surgeon! But during my time as a kindergarten teacher, I loved field day at the end of the year. I’m like a kid; I love a whole day of recess. Teaching in a school that was entirely for kindergarten was like a utopia. It was such a cohesive environment. I loved teaching so much that I really didn’t even want to retire.”