Faces of 501: Rich Lindstrom

Landon Middle School math teacher Rich Lindstrom, left, helps Kyland Anderson with a problem.

Math teacher Rich Lindstrom is in his third year teaching at Landon Middle School and is on his third career. Lindstrom started as his career as an airline pilot, then worked for General Electric and finally coming home to Topeka to teach middle school math.

“I grew up in Topeka: I went to Bishop Elementary, Jardine Middle School and Topeka West High School. From there I went to college at Central Missouri State University and earned a degree in Aviation Technology. I switched to aviation after studying engineering for three years. I decided I wanted to do something more exciting than working a desk job. When I was in college, I taught students how to fly for four years so I could earn hours flying, it was then that I knew I liked teaching.”

“I worked for Northwest Airlines for eight years as a commercial airline pilot, but then I settled down and had a family. The travel was hard on our whole family so I quit and went to work for General Electric in Quality Assurance and Customer Service. It was a good job, but I realized I missed the satisfaction of teaching so I came back to Washburn University and earned my teaching certificate. I loved teaching flying, and teaching math seemed like the next logical step. As a teacher every day is different and I get to explain how to use math in everyday life.”

“To those that can’t decide what they want to be when they grow up, that’s fine. You can always change careers but stay in school and get a college degree in something, anything. It opens more options for your down the road. Stay in school and graduate, that is something that no one can ever take away from you.” 

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