WEST COLUMBIA, SC – A longtime Lexington Two music educator is being recognized with one of the district’s most prestigious honors.
Linda Goodwin -- who retired from Airport High School after 35 years in education, 19 of those in Lexington Two – was selected for the district’s Heroes and Heroines Society. She will be honored at a February 23 reception before the monthly board meeting.
Goodwin, affectionately known as “Mama G,” is a product of Lexington Two schools, having attended Springdale Elementary, Fulmer Middle, and Airport High School, where she graduated in 1978. She received a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s in elementary education with a learning disability emphasis, both from Columbia College. Goodwin spent her education career in South Carolina public schools, getting her first job in 1982 in the Berkeley County School District, where she taught general music at two elementary schools. In 1985, she joined Richland Two and taught music at Forest Lake Elementary, which included leading a 100-student chorus, working with students with intellectual disabilities, and serving as Fine Arts Department head. In 1998, she came to Lexington Two’s Pine Ridge Middle School, where she taught general music and chorus, the Pro-Team middle school Teacher Cadet program, and headed the Fine Arts Department. In 2002 she moved to Airport High School, where she taught chorus, honors chorus and piano lab. During her tenure, her chorus sang for President George W. Bush and in the SC Governor’s Carolighting, and participated in numerous competitions, from South Carolina to Maryland, where they received excellent, superior and superior plus ratings. She co-directed 10 musicals with the drama teacher, sponsored Tri-M Music Honor Society and began a music program for special education students. Goodwin also served as a mentor to first year teachers and headed the Fine Arts Department.
“I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity in my career to work with students of all ages and abilities,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin “officially” retired from Airport in 2012, though she continued work with Lexington Two, including teaching music to a home-bound special education student and serving as an artist in residence at Busbee Creative Arts Academy. Today, Goodwin devotes her time to caring for her parents, who are 97 and 89 years old, and plays music each week at her local church.
“I tried very hard to make the chorus room a safe haven for students,” Goodwin said. “I also strived to make my classroom a family environment for all students to feel welcomed, loved and accepted. I was really honored when my students began calling me Mama G. It really lets me know that I made a difference in their lives. Even today, when I see them in public out in the community, they still refer to me as “Mama G.”
The Heroes and Heroines Society was started in the 1990-1991 school year to recognize retired educators who dedicated their lives to service in the classroom, guidance or media center. Goodwin is the 38th honoree chosen for induction into the society representing the “best of the best” in Lexington Two schools.