Lyseth Elementary School teacher Linda Whittum recently received an Essence of PPS Award. The Portland Board of Public Education and Superintendent Xavier Botana presented the award to Whittum at the board’s Jan. 17 meeting.
The Portland Public Schools’ Essence Award is given to school staff members who embody the good work that is happening at their schools. Whittum teaches second grade and has been with Lyseth since 1989 – a total of 28 years. She was nominated by Lyseth Principal Lenore Williams, who used words such as “amazing” and “tireless” to describe her.
Here is what Williams had to say about Whittum: “Linda is recommended for the Essence Award for her tireless efforts to meet the needs of all of her students. She is an amazing advocate for them and will do everything within her power to ensure they are successful as students and, just as important, as people.
In her role as an educator, she encompasses teaching children to be kind and compassionate human beings that contribute meaningfully and selflessly to their community. For example, she works with her students on various community projects. Those include sending letters to veterans in the Veteran's Home; having her students donate their Halloween candy to servicemen and women in Iraq; creating holiday decorations and visiting senior citizens in a nearby assisted living facility; and fundraising for a needy family the students ‘adopted.’
Always the champion of those less fortunate and in need, Linda gives of herself – her time, commitment, compassion, and dedication each and every day. For that reason, she is most deserving of this recognition.”
Botana told Whittum: “Linda, we are very grateful to you for your years of unflagging devotion to Portland Public Schools’ students. Congratulations on this well-deserved award!”