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Linda Odom - Title I Reading Interventionist and Parent Involvement Coordinator at Graham Elementary

posted May 15, 2017, 2:25 PM by Greg Shull
CCS Work History 
In 2005-2006, I completed my student teaching in a 1st-grade classroom at James Love Elementary. I began teaching in a third-grade classroom at Graham Elementary School in August 2006 where I remained through the 2014-2015 school year. This school year, I have the awesome position of Title I Reading Interventionist and Parent Involvement Coordinator at Graham Elementary. Let me just say, "I Love My Job!" I wear different hats throughout the day as I work with students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Every day brings a new challenge, and I am so thankful for having the tremendous support from my school family, as well as from Central Office. 

Family 
I am the most blessed wife and mother! My husband of 36+ years, Derrick, has given our sons an incredible education on how to treat their future wives and has also given our daughter an invaluable picture of what she used to decide her husband. Derrick has and continues to be my biggest supporter and advocate. 

Derrick and I have two sons, Tommy and Cameron, and we have one daughter, Tasha. Tommy and Cameron work with Derrick as surveyors in North and South Carolina. Tasha is married and lives with her husband, also named Derrick, in Indian Trail. My children have grown into confident and dependable adults, and I am so incredibly proud of how they have faced the many struggles of growing up to become such honorable adults. 

Education 
When I graduated high school in 1977, I briefly attended Western Piedmont Community College. At the time, I felt it more important to devote my efforts to my marriage and starting a family. It was not until after a life changing event that I decided that I wanted and needed to return to college. I attended South Piedmont Community College for a year before transferring to UNC-Charlotte, where I graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and graduated summa cum laude for which I am very proud and blessed. 

What do you like best about your school/work location? 
I work with some amazing people at Graham, who do extraordinary things just to make a small difference in the life of a child. I have had the honor of watching and learning from my teammates over the years as they rise to go beyond their call of duty to attend to the many needs our children present. Our staff has become a family, and we work together to support each other through the many obstacles we encounter. 

If you could give students one piece of advice, what would it be and why? 
As students would enter my classroom year after year, they were told, "You will be forever known as one of Mrs. Odom's kids." I wanted them to know that they belonged, they were cared for, and that I was their biggest advocate. One year, a former student of mine who lives nearby and was in middle school at the time, got off his bus, and no one was home for him to get inside. He felt uncomfortable just hanging around outside his house. So, he came to find Mrs. Odom at Graham because he knew I would take care of him. 

My advice for students and teachers, as well: Get to know each other. Find out why the other person thinks or behaves the way they do. It is in the relationships we make with our students and teachers where we find common ground, we can understand each other, and have true respect for one another. Then, and only then, can true learning take place. 

Why is Cleveland County Schools special to you? 
Growing up in Burke County, my parents would occasionally drive all the way to Cleveland County to eat at Red Bridges BBQ or at Jackson's Cafeteria that used to be open in Shelby. Derrick's grandmother would travel to this area to buy cloth many years ago. It was a treat to come to this area. As an adult, those memories are still near and dear to my heart as my husband and I have chosen this area to live and work. It helps to have such a supportive school system to work for. Cleveland County Schools took a chance on me, and my abilities in 2006 and I feel indebted to them for the opportunity.
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