Modlin ends an impressive 44-year career in education

Marlys Barker, Tri-County Times Editor
Modlin ends an impressive 44-year career in education

Dianne K. Modlin has spent 44 years in education, 33 of them at Ballard, where she has merged her love for teaching and coaching into a rewarding career.

“I chose teaching because I wanted to coach sports and work with young people,” she said. “I had numerous coaches and teachers in K through 12 and college that left very positive influences on my decisions and also those that made me believe I could make an impact in the field of education.”

Her husband, Michael, was also an educator, and the two often taught in different school districts, as many wouldn’t hire both a husband and wife. “For years we taught and lived apart so that we could follow our careers,” she said.

Modlin, who was raised in Rockwell City, attended Parsons College in Fairfield and then took her first job in the Lawton-Bronson School District. She taught K-12 physical education and health, while coaching softball basketball, track, drill team and cheerleaders.

When the couple left northwest Iowa, Modlin was helped in applying for a job at Ballard by a former superintendent there.

At Ballard, she has taught elementary physical education, middle school physical education and high school physical education and health. Teaching PE has been wonderful, because Modlin said she loves being outdoors and not inside a classroom year-round. She also has loved pushing young people to be the best they can be.

The most challenging things Modlin has dealt with in her years in education are lack of funding for programs, larger class sizes and the task of maintaining successful curriculums.

But she will undoubtedly miss the students. “Following young people from elementary to high school and beyond and seeing how successful they becone,” she said, is one of the biggest rewards in teaching.

In retirement, Modlin looks forward to having the opportunity to travel throughout the seasons, do volunteer work, enjoy family and enjoy the farm.