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April 28, 2017
The value of an education at Northwest Missouri State University and the Bearcat culture was instilled in Lynda Hollingsworth at an early age. Her children are adding to that legacy as they further their education and receive degrees from the University.
“It started when I was going through elementary school,” Lynda, who grew up in Maryville, said. “Everything was always ‘We will do this because this is the way they do it at the college.’”
Lynda, an assistant professor in the University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, is retiring this spring after 35 years at the institution. But that total only accounts for her teaching career.
She attended Maryville public schools before completing her bachelor’s degree in mathematics education in 1981 and a master’s degree in computer studies in 1985 at Northwest. She joined the Northwest faculty in 1982.
“My first year, I taught (at Northwest) in the mornings and in the afternoons at Maryville High School,” she said. “Both called me and asked me to teach math. I didn’t even have to apply. I’ve been here ever since.”
Soon Lynda and her husband, Clay, started a family. From an early age, their children, Amanda Hollingsworth Moyers and Michael Hollingsworth, were surrounded by the Northwest culture and traditions.
“I grew up on the campus and I always loved it,” Amanda said, reflecting on running the hallways of the Garrett-Strong Science Building, where a collection of animal heads were once displayed throughout the building’s atrium. “We pretended, when they used to have all of the animal heads up. My brother and I would go on little safaris while my mom was in class.”
Michael talks of the excitement he felt going to Homecoming parades and football games.
“It is something we’ve had in our blood ever since we were born, and we’ve been Bearcats ever since,” he said.
Both attended Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School, beginning with preschool at age 3, and then returned to the University to earn their bachelor’s degrees – Amanda in English in 2007 and Michael in marketing and management in 2009.
“Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat,” Lynda said. “It’s just the thing you do because you went to school here at Maryville and you continue on. My kids, I don’t think they thought about going to another school either. Since they grew up going to Horace Mann, they knew where all the buildings were. It’s just home.”
Following their mother’s path, Amanda and Michael wanted to become educators and secured teaching jobs quickly. Both have advanced their education by completing master’s degrees and multiple specialist degrees.
Moyers graduates from Northwest again this spring with Specialist in Education degrees in principalship and superintendency, and Michael is graduating with his Specialist in Education degree in superintendency.
“It all comes back to my education at Northwest,” Amanda said. “I know I got my job because of Northwest. My current employer contacted me and wanted me to apply because they knew Northwest has great teacher candidates. It was solely because I went to Northwest that I got the job I have now.”
Amanda teaches sophomore language arts at Central High School in St. Joseph, Missouri, where she also is a coordinator for the International Baccalaureate Extended Essay and an ACT prep coach.
Michael is a business teacher, technology director and coach at Fairfax High School in Fairfax, Missouri, where he also teaches a dual credit course in computers and information technology for Northwest.
“Growing up, my mom always told me that education is the only thing that no one can take away from you in life,” he said. “She really instilled in me and my sister to strive to be the best we could be in everything that we did and to continue our education.”
Lynda’s retirement doesn’t mean that the Northwest campus will be void of a Hollingsworth next fall, however. Michael’s daughter, Lilly, is set to begin preschool at Horace Mann in the fall.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468