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Hudiburgh reflects on 14 years of teaching in Holyoke and anticipates a change PDF Print E-mail
Written by Molly Brandt, Holyoke 10th-grader   

“Hudi is awesome” is the common response one will receive when discussing Lynette Hudiburgh with her students and colleagues. Just what is it that makes Hudiburgh so awesome?

High school counselor Summer Maloney, who had the privilege of learning under Hudiburgh’s direction and is now working alongside Hudiburgh, claims it’s “her dedication and passion for what she does each day with students” that makes this math teacher so incredible.

After teaching every math course offered at Holyoke High School in the last 14 years, Hudiburgh looks forward to a new start at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Starting in August, she’ll take on the “Statistics 261” class, which she claims with a smile. Hudiburgh has a lot to reflect on over her 14-year span of teaching within the Holyoke School District.

It was her husband’s job acceptance in Sterling that brought Hudiburgh to Holyoke to teach in 1997, and it’s the town of Holyoke that will always stay in Hudiburgh’s heart. The safety, laid-back feeling and caring atmosphere that Holyoke provides are the factors that Hudiburgh will remember forever.

And as far as her role in the school district, Hudiburgh appreciates that she “never had a chance to be bored.” Students will also remember Hudiburgh as the teacher who wasn’t afraid to dance at prom. Hudiburgh admits to being the “prom guru” and spending a lot of years behind the scenes mastering the task of prom.

When asked what her biggest accomplishment within the Holyoke school system was, Hudiburgh humbly replied, “Any time a former student takes the time to come back and say hi, I consider that a great accomplishment.”

She adds that in the cases where her former students became her colleagues, “It has been really neat to see them continue to grow.”

Those evaluating the math program will note Hudiburgh’s implementation of the pre-algebra course in 2001, the AP stats course in 2006 and, with the help of partner math teacher Sandra Rahe, the applied math course in 2008. Maloney credits Hudiburgh with “helping them produce some of the highest student growth in our school building.”

Within the school system, Hudiburgh has seen changes gradually occur. For example, she observed the addition of more sports programs and organizations such as EPYCS over the years, which led to students being able to explore a variety of extracurricular activities. It continues to amaze her that each year students take advantage of more and more opportunities.

Aside from currently teaching six different classes a day and having served as class sponsor, NHS sponsor, member of Faculty Council and member of other various committees, as well as singing in the Windsong Chorus of Sterling and playing her cello on occasion, Hudiburgh made time in 2010 to receive her master’s degree in applied statistics.

She’s not stopping there. She plans to continue her education as she takes on a whole new job, working to receive her Ph.D. (doctorate degree) in statistics education.

Eleven hundred miles away from Holyoke, Hudiburgh will venture to Oxford, Ohio in August, where her husband Clark Ginapp will join her after serving his last committed year as Alternative School administrator in 2011-2012.

Hudiburgh was attracted to Miami University when she researched their new Top 25 program, which works on the method in which the university offers general classes. Hudiburgh is part of a new program in which she will see 100-150 of the sophomore statistics students, as her five co-workers see that same number as well.

She will lecture three hours per week and further divide her students into groups of 20-30 in which each group will have two hours of lab time per week with her.

Hudiburgh anxiously awaits working with other people who teach her same course, which she’s never done before, as well as observing how they can incorporate labs and lectures. She also hopes to play her cello in the symphony orchestra at Miami.

In addition to her excitement for the new job, Hudiburgh looks forward to the location, as well. Oxford is known to be beautiful in the fall and is home to state park bike trails, which Hudiburgh looks forward to trying out.

While she claims that “any time you have to make a change, it can be a little scary; it is also invigorating and exciting,” Hudiburgh again reflects that “Holyoke gave me a good foundation and helped me grow as an educator.”

Hudiburgh will always remember the relationships she built with students and colleagues and the friendship she shared with so many nice people, and she will definitely be back to see how everyone’s doing. According to those who know Hudiburgh, many will look forward to her visits back home as well.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Newspaper In Education series promoted by The Holyoke Enterprise in partnership with Holyoke schools. Finalists were selected by Enterprise staff Darci Tomky and Chris Lee.