Remembering Retired English Teacher Mrs. Dillon

Alexis Lage and Annie Robichaud

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  Linda Dillon was an beloved English teacher at SVHS for over 20 years. She was hired in the early 90’s and formally retired in 2016 after being on leave.

 Mrs. Dillon was honored on Feb. 16, at St. Vincent’s Church in Petaluma. Hundreds of people attended a mass and a celebration of life afterwards.

  Sonoma and Petaluma residents, current and retired SVHS staff, and Mrs. Dillon’s family and friends gathered to remember her on what would have been her 57th birthday.

  SVHS English teacher Leslie McLean was friends with Mrs. Dillon for over 30 years after they met their junior year of college at UC Davis. McLean said that Mrs. Dillon was one of the most selfless people that she had ever met.

  Mrs. McLean recalled that Mrs. Dillon was very experienced in the transition of eighth graders to freshman year. She was on freshman team where she inspired students with projects like the time capsule letters to your future self.

  AP History Teacher Andy Gibson was in Mrs. Dillon’s freshman class and he remembered, “She was very kind and understanding. I still have some of the projects that I completed in her class.” His most vivid memory was an ancient Greek magazine that he worked on for weeks, which his mother still has to this day.

  As a colleague, Mr. Gibson described Mrs. Dillon as a teacher who was open to new aproaches to teaching and was willing to try anything new.

  Mrs. Mary Spragens, a fellow English teacher, recalled that Mrs. Dillon, “…was always cheerful and fun. She worked with students to individualize curriculum for different learning styles.”

  Her favorite memory was when Mrs. Dillon was first diagnosed with cancer, and the English department skyped her into the Christmas party.

  Spanish teacher Pedro Merino was hired the same year as Mrs. Dillon, and he remembered her as a kind and compassionate teacher who was an extremely hard worker. He said, “She wanted her kids to experience a lot. She took them on trips to see the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco to explore.”

  Mr. Merino added, “I will always remember her time here and she will always be alive in my heart.”