She's a legend


Kordas prepares for the end of the year pep rally

Concord School District is noting the retirement of several wonderful teachers this year, all of whom will be missed. But Concord High students are groaning most over the departure of Linda Kordas, whose infamously big personality has enlivened Latin classes for decades.
Kordas is the teacher whose room is filled with brightly colored props and travel souvenirs. She’s the sort who likes to dress for festive occasions, and who for many years hosted a Saturnalia celebration in the lead-up to Christmas vacation.
Kordas, as students affectionately call her, began her career at Concord High in 1985 along with fellow retiree Jeanne Picard, who has taught French and Spanish. Picard recently began teaching adults through the Concord Community Ed program.
Born and raised in Westfield, Massachusetts Kordas was the only girl among six children. After graduating from Westfield High she attended Drew University in New Jersey and then went on to earn her master’s in teaching Latin and Greek from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She also worked toward an archaeology degree at Tufts University.
Her first teaching job was in Belchertown, Massachusetts. “I taught five different classes in five different rooms,” said Kordas, describing her first year as hectic.
The experience was a valuable one, though.
“When I first started teaching I was too sarcastic with the kids,” said Kordas. “One kid told me, ‘Kordas, you shouldn’t be so sarcastic with the kids.’ Yeah, I was young. I learned you can be funny without being so sarcastic.”
CHS students said they love Kordas’ personality-rich approach to teaching.
“Shes a legend,” said Nick Dupre. “In school there are teachers and there are friends. Very rarely are they the same person. Kordas taught in a style that made kids want to come to her classroom, even if they never actually had her for class.”
20140609_090833Between Belchertown and Concord Kordas also taught French for a year at Nashua Catholic Junior high School.
It was at Concord High, though, where Kordas truly fell in love with teaching, she said. “The kids, you guys, always funny, always interesting, keeping me on my toes. I love watching you grow from freshman to senior year, almost become human then.”
Kordas has always striven to treat people how she would want to be treated.
“Everyone has a mind and a life. I always remember that,” she said. “I try to treat everyone with dignity.”
Kordas is also know for her sense of humor and excellent listening skills, and for taking students on life-changing trips to Italy during the summer.
Said Shea Matthews, another student, “I am going to miss everything about her, so much. She is so funny.”
Kordas is not permanently leaving Concord High. Next year’s Italy trip is still being planned. And, she has mentioned to many students that she is only a phone call away if they need her help. They may also see her wandering the halls when she visits, though perhaps not in costume.