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Pushing for more satisfaction

In honor of Black History Month, assistant principal Lanele Lindsey reflects life decisions

Courtesy+of+Lanele+Lindsey.
Courtesy of Lanele Lindsey.

Courtesy of Lanele Lindsey.

Courtesy of Lanele Lindsey.

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As he walked home from L.R. Jackson Elementary School with his older sister in the early ‘70s, he was used to riots erupting throughout the streets in West Memphis, Arkansas after the release of the movie “Roots.”

Despite experiencing prejudice in his small town, assistant principal Lanele Lindsey grew up living an enjoyable life. He loved the place where everyone knew him and he knew them.

“We didn’t have a lot but I enjoyed life; I was able to get out and [do] things I enjoy doing [like] walking through the woods, climbing trees, chasing bugs, fishing [and] hunting,” Lindsey said.

While visiting his sister and brother-in-law in Pensacola, Florida during eighth grade, Lindsey finally figured out what he wanted to do by the experience he obtained while there.

“I went to visit my sister and brother-in-law, he was in the Navy at the time in Pensacola, Florida,” Lindsey said. “And [I] just loved the way things were going already there and seeing the sailors. He took me to work with him a couple days, I met his buddies [and] I knew what I wanted to do immediately.”

Lindsey signed up for the Navy after graduation, however, he put his plans on a two-year old when he changed his mind to hang out with friends instead.

“The year I graduated high school, I had planned to join the Navy, took the test and signed up,” Lindsey said. “Then I changed my mind [because] I had too much fun hanging out. I joined the Navy at 20, which [if I hadn’t] wasted two years, I could’ve been a whole lot further.”

Though adjusting to his new environment took some time, Lindsey experienced traveling the world and meeting new people.

“The first three years were tough, not being around family, friends and getting to know a new job and new people,” Lindsey said. “After that it was a piece of cake. I joined the Navy because I saw where my brother-in-law was living, but I also wanted to travel and see the world. I accomplished what I wanted to do.”

With hard work and determination and after 18 years in the Navy, Lindsey began working on his college degrees to become an administrator.

“[I would be coming up on] 20 years in the Navy and I wasn’t satisfied by just a 20-year career,” Lindsey said. “I started school with 18 years in the Navy and stayed in school till I got to the point where I could be an administrator. [I wanted to] be a good teacher [and] show my kids it’s possible.”

When he joined the administrative team in 2014, Lindsey began to leave impacts on students making them believe anything is possible while simultaneously encouraging them to strive for ambitious goals.

“Mr. Lindsey really pushed me [to see] the potential in me,” 2015 alumna Marjorie Gonzalez said. “I think he helped me really try to reach for higher goals and achieve something greater than the goal I had planned. He helped me out through my transition, through my years in college, he wrote a lot of my letters of recommendation for college, and one of the biggest scholarships I [received that] pays for most of my school [is] because of him.”

Other than students, Lindsey has impacted members of the administrative team, including principal Jeffrey Kajs, with his wisdom and different perspectives of what school should be. Lindsey doesn’t wait to be asked to do something; he does it before he is even approached.

“When he takes care of [issues], he’s going to take care of it in the best degree possible,” Kajs said. “He’s not going to cut his corners. There is not a single task or job or performance that he feels he is above doing. He leads by example. He’s impacted me. I learned a lot from him. He’s just been a tremendous asset [and we’re] really pretty lucky we got him.”

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One Response to “Pushing for more satisfaction”

  1. Mrs. Counts on February 6th, 2018 8:40 AM

    I always appreciate Mr. Lindsey’s positive energy in the school. He never fails to greet teachers and students with enthusiasm that seems to say “I’m happy you’re here!” Thanks, Mrs. Lindsey!

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