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Special Ed teacher has to ‘roll with the punches’

“At school, a typical day can be pretty crazy,” said Lindsey Radford, 33, a Special Education teacher in Dallas COunty Schools. “I am a planner and love a schedule, but I quickly learned to roll with the punches and make adjustments when necessary. I try to make sure each and every day is meaningful with a purpose because, at the end of the day, they are here to learn.

At the end of the day, Radford says she likes to unwind alongside her two pups or dining at one of her favorite local restaurants.

“There are a lot of people working to get Selma on the right track,” Radford said. “I would love to see our entire community stand together and continue making positive impacts. We need to support our local businesses. We need to support our youth and schools. We need to shine a positive light on all that’s good here. There is so much good. I know I can do more and I plan to do so.

To that end, Radford is deeply involved at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, where she has been a lifelong member, and formerly in the Selma Charity League, in which she has served as Chairman and Co-Chairman.

“Although my time in the Selma Charity League is over, I enjoy getting to support them in their mission to give back to Selma as a sustainer,” Radford said.

When Radford set off for college in 2004, she knew three things – she wanted to go to Auburn, she wanted to pursue a master’s degree and she wanted to help people.

“I never dreamed of how fulfilling my job would be,” Radford said. “I never dreamed I would be a high school teacher, but here I am. Every day, I get to work with kids that have the most incredible zest for life. They may or may not be eager to learn . what it is I’m trying to teach, but they are thrilled to be at school and included. My students gain so much from socialization and interacting with other students that have different abilities. My goal is to make a lifelong impact on the lives of my students and their families.

Radford says the job challenges her creatively – since each student has different needs, it’s up to her to figure out how best to teach them.

There are no books out there that can tell me exactly what my students need,” Radford said. “I have to get to know them, learn them and meet them where they are in order to help them grow.”

Since moving back to Selma in 2010, Radford has lost two important people in her life – her father and her childhood friend Renee – both of which she recognizes as having a profound impact on her life.

“To this day, I’m not sure I know anyone more generous than my dad or Renee,” Radford said. “They were both loved in this community and would do anything to help someone out. They continue to inspire me daily to be the type of person someone can count on. That’s what I strive to be – a dependable and reliable person.”