Lynne Koeller, a 26-year employee of Plumas Unified School District, was one of 19 individuals honored during the June 22 school board meeting.
Koeller began working with the school district in August of 1996 as a teacher for students with hearing impairments. Soon she began working with the visually impaired and orthopedically impaired students as well, and ended her career as a program specialist.
Koeller was lauded by Kevin Bean, the district’s associate superintendent in charge of student services and special education.
“One of the most amazing things Lynne has done, amongst a litany of amazing things, is to create a life-skills curriculum for our students that require higher levels of support,” he said. “From teaching these adult students to ride the county bus safely, to helping them learn to shop and manage a budget, to integrating and transitioning to the ALIVE adult program operated by PRS, Lynne has had a hand in helping these adult students become successful members of the larger community. The number of lives and families touched by Lynne in Plumas over the last 26 years is virtually unmeasurable, as is the value of her kindness, compassion, and service.”
Bruce Williams, a former school district administrator, shared his thoughts: “Lynne Koeller was a teacher of hearing impaired children for Plumas Unified School District. She worked wherever there were kids who needed her – which in practice turned out to be all over the county. She was a thoroughly positive, can-do professional. In 20 years of working with her, I can’t recall a single time she complained or uttered an angry word. She was also a much higher quality specialist than a little rural district had any hope of attracting. Lynne was of national caliber – teachers of her quality usually are found in universities or heading up programs in large urban districts. Lynne chose to live and work in a small mountain county in Northern California. She made a large difference in the lives of the students lucky enough to get her services.”
Koeller doesn’t like the limelight, but her daughter Kristen, wanted her mom to know how proud she is. “For so many years I have watched my mom go above and beyond in her work,” Kristen said. “She has quite literally changed the course of her students’ lives. I am so proud to be her daughter —this community was so lucky to have her gift for 26 years. Although she is retiring, I know she will still find ways to give to her community.”
That sentiment was echoed by associate superintendent Bean as well as he addressed her retirement. “Anyone who knows Lynne will tell you that she is not the type to sit home on her sofa. She doesn’t watch the world go by so much as she creates the world she wants to live in: a world where fairness and equity go hand-in-hand with integration, inclusion and success.”