Linda Armistead, a long-time educator who retired in 2012 from the Wilson County school system, seeks the Zone 4 seat on the Wilson County Board of Education, which represents Districts 4, 10, 23, 24 and 25.
“My life’s work has been dedicated to the education of young people in Wilson County for the past 38 years,” Armistead said. “I want to use my experiences in education and connections with youth, their families and our community to help ensure trust and confidence for those affected by school board decisions and to support opportunities for students to expand their knowledge in as many different directions as possible. ”
She earned a bachelor of science degree in English and education from Middle Tennessee State University and began teaching in 1973 at Mt. Juliet High School. She has 27 years of classroom experience and 11 years in administration while implementing a workforce investment grant called YouthLinks in Wilson County. She has completed classes in counseling, certifications for global career development facilitator, service learning and work-based learning, along with attaining career level I and highly qualified teacher status.
Throughout the classroom years, she led and sponsored several school clubs and organizations such as the Drama Club, Future Teachers of America, the cheerleading squad, Students Taking a Right Stand, forensics and debate teams, as well as coaching tennis. She also organized and led two independent student tours to Europe sponsored by the American Council for International Studies and a church school group to Washington, D.C.
The YouthLinks grant involves helping students train and prepare for jobs. Since it began in 2001, it has served about 4,000 students in Wilson County Schools, receiving allocated funds of $5.3 million at no cost to the school system.
“It was rewarding to be part of a program that has also been successful in helping to improve the graduation rate in our county, and it gave me an opportunity to work in all four high schools, the GED program and the Adult High School, giving me a better perspective of what works well in our communities,” Armistead said. “Students in our program also had to work when they finished school and training, so connecting with businesses in the area and being a part of the Chambers of Commerce has given me an insight of what is happening concerning the rapid growth and how vital a great education system is.”
She has been involved in many community projects and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Wilson County and Mt. Juliet Community Help Centers and Empower Me Day Camp. She is current president and past treasurer of Wilson Organization for Networking and Education. She served on both the Mt. Juliet Chamber and Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce’s education committees, receiving the honor of “Educator of the Year” in 2003 from the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce and worked with the teacher grant committee and the Tennessee Scholars program with the Lebanon Chamber. She served on the board of directors for Prospect, Inc. and the Wilson County Community Partnership and is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Wilson.
Armistead and her husband, Steve Armistead, have been married for 46 years and have lived in Mt. Juliet since 1979. They have two children, Stephanie McDonald and Chadwick Armistead, and six grandchildren, two enrolled in Gladeville Elementary School. Stephanie graduated from MJHS and MTSU, completed her graduate studies at Cumberland University and previously taught math at West Wilson Middle School. Stephanie has three children, and she and her husband, Michael, who is district automotive manager for UPS, currently live in Monroe, N.Y. Chad graduated from MJHS and MTSU, served in the Marine Corps, and is director of operations at the Hutton in Nashville. He and his wife, Cathryn, who is a third-year law student, have three children and live in Gladeville.
“As a candidate seeking your vote and support for School Board in Zone 4, I am ready to work hard, utilizing all of life’s lessons and professional training,” Armistead said. “I have fiscal experience with budgets and allocating money, having served on the board of directors of two nonprofits and the workforce grant program, which also required being responsible for staffing and helping to create and implement policy. I am ready to serve by actively supporting school programs, by being responsive to constituents, and by promoting positive working relationships with the director and the county commissioners understanding the importance of governing through policy. And most importantly as a school board member, I will be a strong advocate for the needs of all learners as we strive for excellence in education always.”