The education community of Michigan’s Great Southwest has lost one of its most ardent and vocal supporters this week as we learn of the death of Linda Holt…Vice President of the Board of Education at Berrien RESA, and former Lakeshore Schools Board President.
The board this morning is sharing their great sadness in making the announcement of the death of their longtime board member, who was currently serving as Vice President. They say she passed away on Wednesday, December 11th after a short illness, and call her “a dedicated champion for public education.” She had served on the Berrien RESA Board since 1993. During her tenure with Berrien RESA, Linda also served as Trustee and as Board Treasurer.
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Ivers says, “The Berrien RESA family will be forever grateful for Linda’s service,” and adds, “Every decision Linda made was done with the best interest of our students and staff in mind. She had a passion for helping others. We were very fortunate to have had her dedication and enthusiasm guiding our work for so many years. We share our deepest condolences with her loved-ones.”
Berrien RESA Board of Education President, Cathy Bair, echoed Dr. Ivers’ sentiments, telling us, “Linda played such an important role in our Berrien RESA family,” and adds, “Having served the students of Berrien County since 1993, Linda felt it was everyone’s responsibility to pave the way so that every child had access to a quality education. Whether it was working to expand special education services, supporting projects that challenged our most gifted students, ensuring that policies matched best practices or working to support programs for young children and their families, Linda always put the educational needs of students first. She truly was a leader in the field. I will be forever grateful for having had the privilege of serving alongside her. She will be missed.”
Prior to serving on Berrien RESA’s Board, Mrs. Holt was a Lakeshore Public Schools Board of Education member. She also earned several education credits through the Michigan Association of School Board’s Certified Board Member Awards Program. The program offers school board leaders a way to develop new skills, stay up-to-date on educational issues and earn recognition for professional development. Linda was a Master Platinum Award recipient and was only a few classes away from having earned the most advanced school board leader recognition, the President’s Award.
Dr. Ivers says, “Linda’s legacy will be felt by our staff and our students for many years to come,” and concludes, “She was instrumental in the development of a number of Board policies and was an advocate when the district chose to build Lighthouse Education Center, expand our ASD Program and remodel Blossomland Learning Center. She wanted what was best for kids, and because of her years of dedication, our students truly do have the best.”
Former Lakeshore School Superintendent Ned Curtis shared he heartfelt sadness to Linda’s Facbook page today saying, “My heart is with my good friend and the best school board president I knew in my 18 years as a school superintendent. Linda Holt passed on this week. Her life was all about family, nursing in mental health, and education where she began her lifelong service as school board member/President in 1986…winning a write-in campaign. Linda used our English language in a beautiful, graceful manner. You could ‘see’ the words she spoke. Most of all, she was a great person and good friend. I celebrate her life here and am excited about where that radiant Soul will next appear. Soar Madam President!”
Linda is survived by her husband, David, their two children and many friends and family members.
Berrien RESA’s Board of Education will need to appoint a new board member to fill Mrs. Holt’s vacancy, and reports that next steps will be announced in the coming days.