Patton retires from Pleasant Home after 17 years
Linda Patton took pride in teaching her students life skills to prepare them for adulthood.
Patton said she always wanted to teach but did not start teaching until many years after graduating from college. There were no family and consumer science teacher positions open after she graduated, so her career choice took a different direction. “I ended up moving to Las Vegas and worked as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service. I lived out west for 20 years until my husband’s death from cancer and then decided to move our family back home to Laurel Hill, Florida.”
After returning home, she turned in her application for an opening at Pleasant Home School. “Mr. James Garner, the principal at the time, offered me the teaching position. I will always be grateful and appreciative that he gave me an opportunity to be a teacher. I truly believe that God had a plan for me because everything fell into place,” Patton said. She taught Family and Consumer Science to students in grades 7 through 12 for 17 years at PHS.
Patton said she enjoyed the relationships she built with her students. “Family and consumer science teaches life skills that help students prepare for their future. I always enjoy hearing from students who learned something in my class. A lot of my former students have told me the course helped them at home and in college or on the job. Parents have shared how their children are using skills they learned in my class.”
She said technology has changed from her first year until her last year and continues to do so. “There are so many ways that technology is used in the classroom now. We have it in emails, grades, lesson plans, meetings, curriculum, professional development, and documentation. During the 2020-2021 school year, many students chose the virtual learning path due to the pandemic. Technology will continue to influence education, teaching, learning, and families in the future.”
Patton enjoyed teaching a variety of subjects to her students, but cooking topped the list. “They really enjoyed it and always wanted to know if we would be cooking in class today. It allowed students to be creative, plus they got to eat their creation,” she stated. The baking competitions were a highlight of the school year, according to Patton. “There are so many skills that students can learn from cooking including responsibility, reading directions, problem-solving, teamwork, money management, food science, food preparation, kitchen safety, and math.”
She thought it was very important for educators to be role models to their students each year. “Children are influenced by what they learn from their parents, teachers, older peers, and adults. Positive skills and attitudes practiced at a young age can carry over into their teen years and even adulthood. Children need guidance that involves commitment, time, and perseverance in an effort to lead and inspire them toward their goals even when they may be faced with obstacles along the way.”
Patton plans to spend time with her two children, take on hobbies, and travel the country in retirement. “I live on a 40-acre hobby farm, and there is always something to do on the farm. I am looking forward to having leisure time for boating, fishing, camping, and traveling. I plan on purchasing an RV in the near future and would like to travel around the United States.” Her daughter Sarah Patton Warner works for the Appleyard Agency in Pensacola as a digital marketing specialist. Her son Brandon Patton is a security officer in Seaside, Florida.
“Mrs. Patton left big shoes to fill at Pleasant Home. She made huge impacts on the lives of many students and teachers. The skills students learned in her class will be with them forever. Nutrition, ironing, sewing, Serve Safe certification, community service, and many other lifelong skills were taught in her room. She was committed to our career and technical education program and worked hard to instill a love for learning in her students. We wish her the best in her retirement,” PHS Principal Amber McKathan said.