Linda Steddom ’84 has returned home—to Pella and to Central. As the director of clinical/field experiences in education, Steddom is pioneering a new role in the education department and getting settled back into her hometown.
After graduating from Central in 1984 with an elementary education degree, Steddom went on to get her master’s degree at Northwest Missouri State before teaching at a number of schools in Iowa and Missouri.
A stint at the lab school at Northwest Missouri State had Steddom working with college students, and she realized how much she enjoyed teaching the age group.
“Being at the lab school was a real turning point for me, career-wise,” says Steddom. “It opened a lot of doors and opened up my mind to different possibilities.”
Steddom supervised student teachers at Upper Iowa University and then went on to become the curriculum director at Des Moines Christian School for more than 11 years before finding her way back to Central. The timing was “absolutely perfect” for Steddom to take the newly created position in the education department. Her husband landed a job as the principal of Madison Elementary School, family members were nearby and her daughter was off to college.
“This position was just exactly what I wanted and a good fit for my skill set,” Steddom says. “We always thought we’d come back to Pella at some point; I just didn’t think it would be this soon!”
As the newest member of the education department, Steddom is working with old friends and teachers—particularly ones from Pella High School. She places all of the student teachers and practicum students and supervises their experience. Steddom also oversees the licensure requirements and makes sure students are meeting state standards. In the process, she has run into a lot of acquaintances.
“I was born and raised in Pella, I went to Pella Community Schools and then came over to Central,” she says. “It’s kind of fun because some of my supervisors now are teachers I had in high school. It’s great to make those connections!”
As a student at Central, Steddom never imagined her life would unfold in this way—her ambitions were to be an elementary school teacher for the rest of her life. Her job options evolved over the years, leading her to a place she loved. With her daughter a freshman in college, Steddom feels she relates well to college students. Her own experiences student teaching have helped, as well.
“I love working with college students and the student teaching experience is the culminating experience for an education major—it’s so pivotal in forming the student to be a good teacher,” Steddom says. “A lot of time when you go out for that first job you emulate the first experience you had. I love getting them in the schools and getting them good experiences there.”
In her free time, Steddom can be found hanging outside with her family as well as reading and scrapbooking. She loves cooking for family and friends, and now that she’s back in her hometown, Steddom gets to enjoy that activity a lot more.
“It’s great to be in a place where there is some history and you have some knowledge about who was here and how they helped shape a place, especially Pella and the college, into where it is today.”