Watching little seeds grow: Crothersville teacher retiring after 36 years


“Being here for 36 years, I sure don’t feel like it,” Linda Myers said. “When they say students keep you young, I feel like they really have.”

Agriculture teacher, FFA advisor and academic team advisor of Crothersville High School Linda Myers is saying goodbye to the school after 36 years of teaching.

Born and raised in Brownstown, she graduated from Brownstown Central High School where her father and inspiration for her career path, Bob Myers, taught for 34 years.

When she graduated, her father asked her what she wanted to be.

“I want[ed] to manage a greenhouse,” said Myers. “So he called Purdue and [he asked] how many people graduated managing a greenhouse and they [said] six.”

When asked for a second career path, Myers said she wanted to be in FFA forever. In high school, she was a district officer for the program. FFA is an agriculture-focused program for youth. The name used to stand for Future Farmers of America, but Myers said that it “doesn’t really stand for anything anymore.”

After being told she could not be in FFA forever by her father, she looked into catering and then majored in agriculture with a minor in production agriculture at Vincennes University.

From that point, she decided to be an agriculture teacher.

“That’s all I really knew what to do,” she said.

Myers graduated from Purdue University with a degree in agriculture education science and business. At Indiana University Southeast, she received her master’s in education and special education with a concentration in learning disabilities. She did her student teaching at Central Nine Career Center. There, Myers said they had four or five greenhouses.

When a position opened up at Crothersville High School, she applied. It was her against two others.

Back 36 years ago, Myers said there were not very many female agriculture teachers, so as she retires, she is walking away as the most experienced female agriculture teacher in the state of Indiana.

“At the time, there were five other female AG teachers in the state of Indiana,” Myers said. “I was number six.”

Myers’s first classroom had no ceiling tiles or light switch colors. Three walls were brown and one black. She decided her first order of business was to paint the walls.

Myers started out with a team of five FFA members which has now grown to around 65 members, making up around 26% of the Crothersville High School student body.

“Those are the two things I take the most pride in: community service and safety,” said Myers.

In 2023, Crothersville’s FFA ranked number one in the state for both community service and safety. The community service stemmed from a previous student council sponsor in the form of a toy drive. When the previous sponsor was no longer interested in doing the low-performing toy drive, Myers took on the torch and expanded it.

A year after working at the high school is when she began the Crothersville FFA’ Toy and Food Drive. Back at Brownstown Central when she was a teenager, their FFA had Brownstown Christmas Cheer, which is what gave her some ideas for what to do.

“I thought being an agriculture-based organization, we should focus on food instead of toys,” said Myers.

For the drive, Crothersville’s FFA partnered with Premier Ag and corporate Walmart to get the support they need to make the project run smoothly. They also hold a craft show, which has become one of the largest in southern Indiana.

At the craft shows, they fill up two gyms and sell more than 800 pork burgers within three hours.

In 2020, there were complications with doing the toy and food drive, being told that FFA were not allowed to go through with it. Despite the struggle, they still found sponsors, grants and were highlighted in magazines to get the word out. Myers said they delivered more than 20 tons of food to the community.

For the food portion of the drive, they shifted to focus on quality instead of quantity. In particular, they think about elementary-aged children and the elderly that require meals that they can fix when they do not have someone home to make them food.

In total, Myers said they deliver food to about 112 families and fruit baskets to roughly 65 elders in the community.

“We couldn’t have done it without Premier Ag and Walmart. I can’t do it without the fire department. I can’t do it without my FFA members that are here… — the churches and the teachers and all the people that it takes,” said Myers. “I might’ve been the center of the circle but, if there’s one cog out of the wheel, it doesn’t work.”

Along with community service, safety is another important part of this process. The emphasis on the importance of safety is a way of honoring Myers’s father. He promoted safety as much as she does now and the year after he retired, he died in a farming accident.

“I try to tell people that it can happen to the most highly educated people,” Myers said.

The respect Myers’s students have for safety is reflected in some of the firefighters, nurses and other careers that they have nurtured within the school.

“Hopefully that little seed that we’ve planted is being harvested,” said Myers. “That’s probably my biggest accomplishment … watching former students flourish.”

In Myers’s class, teaching was hands-on. Although they have a classroom to be in, she said if they could learn outside or in the shop, they would.

“There’s just so many different aspects of education that they can learn out there,” she said. “Everything from marketing to public relations to growing the seed — working with one another, problem solving.”

Her method of teaching opened up opportunities and avenues for those that did not do well sitting down with a textbook in hand. She said the most rewarding part of her job was seeing those who did not do well in academics be the “brightest ones to figure things out.”

“They do not have to know a vocabulary word if they can figure things out on their own,” said Myers. “That’s all I want.”

Reflecting on her time teaching, she said she will miss her students, but that it is much more than that.

“I’ll miss the students when they have a problem and we can figure it out …” she said. ” I’ll miss being able to see somebody’s face light up when they figure something out.”

While saying goodbyes is tough, Myers is looking forward to a stress-free retirement to spend time with family. Throughout her time as a teacher, she has been taking care of the school greenhouse, even during spring breaks. There has been a lot of time spent outside of school hours working because without that, these programs would not be possible.

Myers will be able to put more time into her position on the Jackson County Fair board and other youth projects. She also is part of the Indiana FFA Foundation Board as secretary.

“We will be working to try and raise more money for programs across the state for every FFA chapter,” she said.

To celebrate Myers’s retirement, there is an open house from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday at Tiger Hall in Crothersville, 200 N. Preston St. All friends and former students of Myers are invited to come.

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