Jefferson Award Nominee Is a Navy Veteran Who Served Her Country, Continues to Serve Community

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Lisa Lynch has been a regular face at Boyd Elementary School the past 11-years. She doesn’t’ get a paycheck, she doesn’t want one.

Friends call Lynch, “One of a kind”, who has a love for children and a passion for giving to others. In the last quarter alone at Boyd she has volunteered nearly 450 hours.

“I love kids and I can make a difference and if I can make a difference to a kid, I’m good. Kids are the most awesome things we can ask for, they are the greatest gift that we can ever ask for,” said Lynch.

Lynch is a 68-year old Disabled Navy Veteran. She served 13 years and during that time she married her husband Gene Lynch. He was also a Navy Veteran. Together they had five children and later adopted two more. Lynch says they were a very happy family but faced hardships along the way.

Gene, passed away after 32-years of marriage. He lost his battle with cancer 2008. Soon, more tragedy would come to the family. Her youngest born son died two years later.

“He was born with some major birth defects, but he taught me there is nothing you can’t do,” said Lynch.

Charlie Lynch was born with many disabilities including spin bifida. Lynch calls him a miracle child because the doctors she said doctors didn’t expect him to survive birth. He lived to be 26.

“He taught me there is nothing you can’t do.”

Lynch began volunteering in Marjie DeWilde’s 5th-grade classroom at Boyd nine years ago.  She and DeWilde developed a close friendship after Lynch’s granddaughter attended her class.

“Honestly, I’m a better teacher because she’s here and the student’s get so much more help and they can turn their work around so much faster. The whole classroom is a better place, DeWilde said.

The students grow close to Lynch. They call her Ms. Lisa, some even call her Grandma Lisa.

Naveah Smith is in her class. “ She’s like a  third grandma to me,” said Smith. “She’s very helpful. She helps you with your work and your math and makes it where you can understand better.”

Lynch says the kids are like her won and they mean very much to her. Outside of volunteering in classrooms she also has four book fairs a year at four different schools in Springfield. She’s been doing so more than a decade. Lynch is trying to make sure children who can’t afford a book of their own will get a book of choice.

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