NEWMAN - A Newman resident recently joined the ranks of Outstanding Women of Stanislaus County.
Retired educator Linda Scheller was among the honorees recognized at the annual Outstanding Women program, conducted by the Stanislaus County Commission on Women.
This year’s program was held virtually due to the pandemic.
Scheller, in her video, said that she was “deeply honored to receive this award and stand in the company of so many outstanding women whose lives and work further compassion, justice, equality and peace.”
Emphasis on those traits are threads interwoven throughout her 36 years as an upper elementary school teacher in Ceres, her poetry and her involvement in a variety of organizations.
In her childhood, Scheller told Mattos Newspapers, “it was impressed upon us that we have an obligation to provide service to the community and to other people. My dad modeled that, and I guess I always felt that it was important if not imperative to give back to help other people.”
Teaching was one form of service, said Scheller.
“I felt it was a privilege and an honor,” she said of teaching. “I felt it especially important to give hope for a better future in terms of academics but also compassion and respect.”
Scheller is also a published author and poet.
Her 2017 book of poetry entitled Fierce Light featured poems about the lives and accomplishments of women throughout history.
“Women have been under-recognized globally,” Scheller reflected. “There are so many accomplished women who have contributed to history, society and culture. My book was an effort to start to address that and educate people about the extraordinary accomplishments of women.”
Scheller is also a founding board member of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center and works with the county library to promote that literary form.
Scheller said the center also collaborated with the NAACP, in which she is also a member, on a project allowing youth to create brief videos showing an art form in which they safely express themselves during the challenges of the pandemic.
In addition to her poetry, Scheller has written plays, a book review and anthologies.
She has not published a second book, Scheller explained, but does have manuscripts circulating and has had her work published in 10 different journals and anthologies during the past year.
Scheller has two programs, Women of the Valley and Arts of the San Joaquin Valley, on KCBP Community Radio, which is part of the Modesto Peace/Life Center.
Her endeavors, Scheller reflected, are not solely devoted to uplifting women but to raise awareness throughout society as a whole.
“Men, women, children.....everyone,” she commented. “I want a better world, where there is justice, peace and security.”