by Amy Haggerty
After more than 30 years of teaching various subjects and grade levels in Stockbridge Community Schools, Linda Petsch is retiring. The Stockbridge native’s current teaching assignment is second grade at Smith Elementary School.
Linda was teaching at the middle school in 1988 when she met the love of her life, Dennis Petsch. At the end of the school year in 1993, their engagement was celebrated with a surprise school lunch that included a cute skit put on by several middle school teachers.
The two married the following year and held their ceremony at the high school, so all the school–aged students could participate and witness the glorious event. It seemed the whole town attended to witness the marriage.
Petsch, who attended Michigan State University and graduated in 1984 with a major in English and social studies, says she always wanted to become a teacher. She attributes her love for teaching to many of her favorite Stockbridge teachers who include Judy Sweet Williams, Patrice Johnson, Lauri Ford, Jean King, Lee Byerly and Ed Grumelot.
Petsch indicated one of her goals was to “show kids love and teach them how to become lifelong learners.”
She is the proud mother of two grown children from a previous marriage, and her positive outlook and love of teaching must have rubbed off onto them. Both have careers in the teaching profession. C.J. (28) teaches third grade in Montcalm School District and Emily (26) teaches Kindergarten in Dansville.
Petsch said she felt it was important to work in the same district where her kids attended school, and she just loved teaching alongside her husband.
She made a point of staying current with her teaching credentials and learned new curriculae to keep her students engaged and challenged.
Petsch likes to make learning fun, and she said she teaches her students to “Make the choice to be happy and kind to one another, and I want students to use their gifts to grow and be happy.”
No wonder, many students throughout the years have named her as their favorite elementary teacher and cited her positive impact on them.