FROM THE ARCHIVES: Vol. XLIV, No. 6 (May 2014): Susan Lindsay Retires After Career of Service

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Vol. XLIV, No. 6 (May 2014): Susan Lindsay Retires After Career of Service

 

In the 2014-2015 school year, everyday life at Prep will be missing a familiar face: that of Ms. Susan Lindsay, Prep’s current leader. Over the past 40 years, Ms. Lindsay has been a teacher, the head of the junior high, the Director of Academic Affairs, and, for the past decade, head of school. Dr. Jason Walton will take over during the summer. photo845-1

Before Ms. Lindsay came to Prep, she worked, among other places, for American Airlines. During her first year at Prep, she taught Social Studies to 7th graders and juniors. Prep’s first Headmaster, Mr. Jesse L. Howell, hired her and became one of her mentors.

She taught every Social Studies class at Prep, including a Sociology elective that currently does not exist. 

I loved Prep, and I loved the students and parents that have been associated with the school.”

— Susan Lindsay

Ms. Lindsay said that the thing she misses the most about teaching is the students. She said that, because of the time constraints of her job, she does not get “to interface with the average students” as much as she would like.  Asked about her favorite position at Prep, Ms. Lindsay said, “I’ve never had a job at Jackson Prep that I didn’t love.”

Ms. Lindsay not only served as a teacher and administrator at Prep, but she was a parent as well. Her son, Dr. Michael Lindsay, a 1990 graduate of Prep, is now the president of Gordon College in Massachusetts. Ms. Lindsay said that her experiences as Prep parent gave her a greater insight into the lives of the students.

Immediately prior to being named Head of School, Ms. Lindsay served as the interim Head of School, a position she had previously shared with Dr. Jim Roberts prior to the arrival of  Prep’s fourth Head of School. At the time she applied for the permanent position, there were no women in charge of private secondary schools in Mississippi.

In retirement, Ms. Lindsay is looking forward to having a more flexible schedule. She also plans to visit her son and his family in Massachusetts more often.

Ms. Lindsay’s favorite physical addition to the school during her time at Prep is the development of Patriot Avenue. She also noted that, when she first arrived, the school had little going on besides school during the week and sporting events on the weekends. She feels that the experience of Prep has greatly expanded over time.

One major memory that has stuck with Ms. Lindsay is the flood of 1979. She was a part of the group of faculty that came to the school while it was still partially underwater to begin the salvage operations.

During her time as leader, Ms. Lindsay has overseen Prep’s transformation into a much more tech-friendly school. She still remembers Prep’s first computer, a large, loud machine that was kept in what is now a closet in the Senior High office. As computers have become cheaper and more powerful, Prep has taken advantage of the opportunities to expand their use on campus. Ms. Lindsay feels that the advantages of technology outweigh the consequences as long as good people are using the technology. She added that she was proud of how the students conduct themselves online and with their personal devices.

Since she has been Head of School, Prep has made improvements in many areas. In athletics, the football field was covered with turf and a new concession stand was built. In the arts, the showchoir program was started, and the new auditorium was completed. New programs such as the Global Leadership Institute, which Ms. Lindsay spearheaded, have expanded the mission of the school.

Asked about her legacy, Ms. Lindsay said that she wants it to be remembered that, “I loved Prep, and I loved the students and parents that have been associated with the school.”

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Ms. Lindsay at work in the senior high counseling office in the 1980s.
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Ms. Lindsay at the opening of the Centre for Arts and Leadership.

 

Ms. Lindsay at the opening of the Centre for Arts and Leadership.
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Ms. Lindsay cuts the Centre’s ribbon.

 

Ms. Lindsay cuts the Centre’s ribbon.