MY Edmond Outlook: Brenda Lyons

 

Written by Radina Gigova in the October 2011 Issue

Name:  Brenda Lyons, Citizen of the Year

You were born in Tulsa. What brought you to Edmond?
I got my first job in Edmond as an English teacher at Central
Mid High School in 1976. My family and I have lived here ever since.

You've worked in education for over 35 years. Where else have you worked?
After teaching English for nine years, I was named Assistant Principal at Sequoyah Middle
School. Four years later I became the first principal at Summit Middle School. Basically I
got to start the school. I had to hire all the staff, number all the rooms and order everything.
Two years after that I became Director of Secondary Education for the district, and a
couple years after that Associate Superintendent for Secondary Education.

You were also recently named Citizen of the Year. What other awards have you won?
Well, I was named Volunteer of the Year in 2003 and then Woman of the Year in 2009.

Wow, that's impressive! How did you balance being a wife and mother?
Fortunately I'm a very high energy person. I am highly motivated and I really love
education. But it wasn't always easy. My husband, son and daughter gave me enormous
support. I got my doctorate when my kids were in elementary school and I was driving
to Stillwater, writing dissertations and studying all the time. My husband was so good
during that time. Honestly, I could not have done what I've done without them.

You've always been really involved in the community as well. How so?
I've served on several boards including the Edmond Chamber, Edmond Hospital,
YMCA, the Fine Arts Institute and the Francis Tuttle Foundation. I've also volunteered
with the Edmond Leadership Program and I'm helping launch the Edmond Sister
Cities Association.

You recently retired from Education. What's that been like?
I've really enjoyed spending more time with my family and grandchildren. I miss those that I
worked with and all the students, but I don't miss getting up at 5:30 a.m. five days a week.

Future plans for Brenda Lyons?
I have a part-time job now; I'm supervising student teachers for UCO. This is the perfect
retirement job because I get to help students become teachers plus I get to visit schools
as well as keep up with educational issues. I am also continuing to make desserts for 50
Meals on Wheels recipients once a month for my church, St. Lukes United Methodist.
Since I love to cook, this gives me a wonderful outlet to try new recipes without gaining
too much weight!

What do you love most about living in Edmond?
I love living in Edmond now for the same reasons I moved here 35 years ago. First and
foremost, the public schools are outstanding. Students get a private school caliber
education for free! Second, the small-town atmosphere and friendliness of the people
is a huge plus for residents of Edmond. On the other hand, we're close enough to the
city to have an outstanding variety of arts and athletic events.

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