MATTOON -- Lake Land College awarded the 2019 Lake Land College Lifelong Learner Award to Annette Lynch, retired science middle school teacher and part-time student, during the March board of trustees meeting. The award celebrates the accomplishments of Illinois’ community college students over the age of 50 who have used their community college as a resource on multiple occasions.
Lynch, age 74, continuously demonstrates her commitment to developing her professional and personal skills to positively impact her peers, family and friends. Lynch, who retired from teaching science at Charleston Middle School in 2001 after 35 years, returned to school in June 2006, enrolling at Lake Land College as a part-time student in order to keep herself up-to-date with the world around her. Since enrolling at Lake Land College, Lynch has completed 135.5 credits with the college, earning a cumulative GPA of 3.96.
Her involvement and dedication to education has allowed her to accumulate a wide variety of certificates including: a certificate in esthetics in 2007, a massage therapy certificate in 2008 and a digital media specialist certificate. She also takes classes in the Radio/TV program and DJs for 89.9 FM The Max Alternative radio station on campus.
Lynch spends countless hours volunteering her time to the college by working with fellow students, participating in Club IT and working with the Business Division on projects related to the Information Technology (IT) programs.
According to Scott Rhine, IT instructor/program coordinator/IT-network administration, Lynch serves as a positive role model to her fellow students in the IT programs. He said that she is the unofficial advisor for the digital media students and is an advocate for students, helping them acquire the services and supplies they need. Rhine also stated that Lynch is perhaps the most influential person in the group, because she serves as the club’s taskmaster, motivator, public relations person and service-learning mentor.
Rhine said that Lynch organizes clean-up days around Webb Hall and is instrumental in challenging other club members to adopt a building on campus for clean-up.
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Although Lynch has never sought praise or recognition for her contributions as a student, mentor and volunteer, there have been numerous staff within the Lake Land family who have wanted to make sure she has been honored for her impact to the college community and how she has inspired numerous individuals with her dedication to lifelong learning.
Josh Bullock, Lake Land College president, also had high praise for the contributions that Lynch has made since enrolling in Lake Land.
“Annette defines what it means to be a lifelong learner. She brings an unquenchable thirst for knowledge to the classroom and willingly shares her talents with peers. At every opportunity, Annette promotes Lake Land’s vision to engage minds and change lives through the power of learning,” Bullock said.
This will be Lynch’s third award from the college. In 2011, Lynch received the Outstanding Student Award from the Lake Land College Business Division. In 2013, Lake Land College honored Lynch with the Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding service and dedication to the college.
Lynch currently lives in Charleston.