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2015 Winter Magazine

Great teachers According to Socrates, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” Linfield-educated teachers are fanning those flames in schools across the country from McMinnville to Gresham to the Bronx. Three young alumni received major teaching honors and awards in the past six months. All three are making a difference in lives of students. And all three point to the inspiration and support they received at the hands of gifted faculty here, coupled with the broad liberal arts education that is the foundation of Linfield College. Oregon Teacher of the Year If it weren’t for a persistent mother, an understanding coach and a desire to study abroad, Michael Lindblad ’94 might be a professional baseball player or a lawyer instead of an award-winning high school teacher. Lindblad, a Gresham High School social studies teacher and co-founder of the school’s International Baccalaureate Program (IB), was named Oregon High School Teacher of the Year in November, just a year after being named the Oregon Social Studies Teacher of the Year. He teaches global studies and IB History of the Americas, organizes humanitarian projects, has supervised 29 student teachers and taught at several universities. Lindblad graduated with a double major in history and mass communication. Like many students, he chose Linfield because of the opportunity to combine academics with playing baseball. Professors such as Dave Gilbert (mass communication), Peter Buckingham (history) and Tom Love (anthro- Michael Lindblad ’94 talks with Christine Jacobsen, an intern from Concordia University, during a class at Gresham High School. A gifted teacher, Lindblad was named Oregon Teacher of the Year in November. He was a pitcher on the Linfield baseball team, and considered becoming a professional baseball player or an attorney. But a semester studying in England and the opportunity to travel through Spain, Western Europe and Northern Africa changed his life forever. 6 - l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e Winter 2015 pology), “made me think about the world outside of my little comfort zone of McMinnville and Portland,” Lindblad said. It was his mother who insisted that he study abroad, a challenge for a dedicated athlete. Undaunted, she called then-baseball Coach Scott Carnahan ’73 to make the case for her son to spend a semester in England. Carnahan agreed, as long as Lindblad stayed in shape and played a sport while there. In between classes and serving as captain on the local basketball team, Lindblad traveled through Spain, Western Europe and Northern Africa – experiences that changed his life irrevocably. “I started thinking about how I could open people’s minds to the world,” he said. Instead of law school, he enrolled in a master’s program at Lewis & Clark College and jumped into teaching. His longing to improve his Spanish and work with Latino students brought him to Gresham High School some 15 years ago, after taking a Linfield summer class in Peru taught by Love. “I learned more than I ever imagined and I realized I wanted to work with Latino students, increase awareness of different cultures and use my Spanish to create more equity in the schools,” Lindblad said. GHS, serving students from 20 countries, provided the diversity Lindblad sought and soon after his arrival he and two colleagues launched the rigorous IB program. “We thought we could get a lot of our students taking this, which would help them understand their own culture,” Lindblad said. “In turn we could educate other students about Latin America and they might develop more cultural sensitivity which would help our school as a whole.”


2015 Winter Magazine
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