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Growing up in North Carolina’s tobacco country, Lynn Moody might have ended up doing like most of the people she knew – working in a cigarette factory or in some phase of the production of the state’s biggest cash crop.
But being the daughter of educators, she saw another way of life beyond the tobacco fields.
“I think there’s no greater calling than,” Moody, superintendent of York County District 3 and one of three finalists for the superintendent job in Greenville County told GreenvilleOnline.com.
She and her husband, a civil engineer, have a sort of running debate about that. He says infrastructure is what makes the world go round. She says it’s education.
So when the couple was in Charleston a few years ago for the opening of the Ravenel Bridge, which her husband’s company designed, he tried to convince her of what a supreme that feat of engineering represented.
It didn’t light up her eyes, though, until she thought about how it represented the culmination of years of teaching and learning that turned young people into high school and finally, bridge builders.
She’s been trying spark that light of learning in the eyes of students ever since becoming a teacher more than 30 years ago.
Moody, 52, went from the tobacco fields to Tobacco Road, where she earned her bachelor’s degree at North Carolina State University.
She traveled around a lot during her nine years as a teacher because of her husband’s job before coming back to her native state and working for more than a decade in administrative positions related to technical and .
When she first came to Rock Hill, she led the first major rezoning effort there in years.
She became associate superintendent of planning in York District 3 in Rock Hill, in 2003.
Moody considers building community as one of her strong suits.
One example is the way she solicited community input for how to address the budget crisis of a few years ago.
She discovered a computer program another school district was using that gave the public an opportunity to plug in where they would make cuts to balance the budget. It also showed what the impact of those cuts would be.
It was an educational experience for the public and made for a much more informed debate over the budget, she said.
As far as academics, Moody said she believes literacy is always the biggest challenge. She’s been studying Greenville County’s numbers and sees some areas where she’d like to give additional attention.
She calls herself “a continuous learner” with a passion for what she does.
“I love to read. I love to study,” she said. “I’m always pushing that envelope.”
“I think I’m a very transparent, open person,” she added.
“I do my work with a lot of heart. I’m very real in my intent. I think people pick up on that very quickly.”