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In Memoriam: May 2013

Published: May 15, 2013

Linda Clark Whitney from the College of Education died on March 5 after a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

In 1996, Whitney was appointed to the Department of Teacher Education as assistant professor. She coordinated middle school education programs and history-social science methods, a course that she taught until the beginning of the fall 2012 semester. She earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2000 and attained full professor status in 2005. On Dec. 28, she retired as full professor emeritus.

Whitney’s career as a professional educator spanned over four decades. In 1970, she earned a B.A. in English and later earned two masters’ degrees from Cal State Los Angeles. Her first M.A. was in reading in 1983; and the second M.A. was in educational administration in 1986. She earned a Ph.D. in education, curriculum and instruction from the Claremont Graduate University in 1996. She also earned numerous credentials including a California multiple subject credential for elementary school instruction, a reading specialist and a language development specialist credentials, and she earned a professional administrative credential.

She first taught in the Montebello Unified School District in 1971, teaching gifted and talented students, basic education support and worked in the reading lab. In 1988, she became a language arts development specialist. She served as an institute leader and consultant for the California Reading and Literature Project from 1990-97. In addition, she directed the California History-Social Science Project and was the consultant-in-charge for Humanities and Multicultural Education for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. She co-directed the UCLA History-Geography Project and directed the LAUSD K-6 Learning Institute.

Her research interests included teacher leadership, effectiveness of teacher education programs, multicultural literature in California schools, professional development schools, and middle school teachers and their classroom experiences.

“As her department chair, I think of the literally thousands of lives Linda touched over the course of her career,” said Department of Teacher Education Chair Paul Boyd-Batstone. “Teachers don’t stop to count their successes. We turn around and are surprised when a student tells us how much help they received. Linda was not ready to stop. When we last spoke, she told me that all she ever wanted to do was teach.”

Whitney is survived by her companion, Andy Barbre; her daughter, Donna Rand; and her sister, Julie Clark.