VBPS Distinguished Graduate


Linda Clayton


Linda has been involved with Van Buren Public Schools for most of her life.  Starting with Edgemont Elementary through graduation from Belleville High School in 1971, and later teaching almost every grade and subject from kindergarten through sixth grade.  Beyond retirement after 35 years, she has remained connected through the Belleville High School Alumni Reunion, currently Chair of the group.

 While a sophomore at Eastern Michigan University, Linda joined the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority.  Members saw her leadership potential and elected her a President in 1974.  Over the years Linda has been a member of the Tri Sigma Foundation Board of Directors; President, Vice President, and Secretary of her alumnae chapter; State Day Chair; and for over 30 years has been a part of the Advisory Board for EMU’s collegiate chapter.

 When Linda graduated from Eastern, teaching jobs were difficult to find.  She worked as a substitute and teacher’s aide for three years before finally signing a contract with the district.  Three years later, layoffs occurred.  During that period Linda was recalled to work and laid off two times, but was able to find employment as the Children’s Coordinator at SAFE House, a shelter for battered women and children in Washtenaw County.  When she returned to full time teaching, Linda remained working evening four nights a week at SAFE House until the early 1990’s.

 Living in Ypsilanti, Linda joined the Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels Holiday Home Tour fundraiser committee.  She was a Chief Tour Guide for 18 years until COVID restrictions changed the in-person event.

 In 2006, a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs recruited Linda to serve on the Board for Girlstown, now called Guiding Harbor.  She said yes and has been the President of the Board of Directors since 2017.  This leadership role gives her a seat on the State GFWC Board and requires her to regularly travel to six district meetings a year to speak about the agency and to fundraise for its foster care programs.

 The Belleville and Ypsilanti areas continue to benefit from Linda’s community service and volunteerism.  In Linda’s work and volunteer positions she has encouraged the sorority members to participate in community service and networking activities.  Linda uses her leadership skills to connect people with resources and opportunities.