Former professor Linda Lentin uses compassion to change lives

Former professor Linda Lentin uses compassion to change lives

By: D'Joumbarey Moreau

In life there are people who can instantly brighten up a sunny day and make someone feel amazing. These people make the world a better place simply because of their positive personality.

Spend five minutes with Linda Lentin and you will walk away feeling remarkable. Most people who have had a conversation with Lentin feel instantly in a better mood because of her youthful optimism and her vast array of knowledge and wisdom.

“She always has a smile on her face, and is always sharing her knowledge,” said Barry University senior Jacqueline Perez. “She lights up any room with her smiles and presence. She is extremely helpful and is one of the most knowledgeable women in the field of education I’ve ever met.” 

Who is Linda Lentin exactly? One of the most legendary teachers in Florida.

More specifically Lentin was a professor for Barry’s Adrian Dominican School of Education (ADSOE). She’s worked at Barry University for many years as a full-time faculty member and coordinator of internships.

“I’ve always loved to teach. I’ve never had a bad day with students ever,” Said Lentin. “I always treated them the way I wanted to be treated.”

Lentin has always had a burning desire to help children, no matter their background or how tough the situation was. The most important thing she cared about was changing their own perception of what was possible in their lives. In fact, Lentin relished working with students that suffered hardships and trials.

Prior to joining the faculty at Barry, she taught in the Miami-Dade County Public School System for more than 30 years working primarily with underserved populations.

“I think that children who are in underserved populations deserve the most dedicated, empathetic, creative teachers they can get,” said Lentin. “I valued my time with them and tried to learn from my students as much as they learned from me.”

Lentin did learn a few things along the way which aided in her earning two highly-regarded honors; in 1988, she was named Miami-Dade County teacher of the Year and in 1989 was chosen as Teacher of the Year for the state of Florida.

After her retirement from MDCPS, she joined the faculty at Barry where she challenged students inside of the Adrian Dominican School of Education to become better teachers.

“She made the difference in what expectations were expected of Barry University students…she did it with such love and compassion, that it wasn’t’t just a learning experience it was like having someone from your family teach you,” said former student Leonardo Acebo.

Acebo, who now works at the Linda Lentin K-8 Center in North Miami, remembers the lessons of humility and wisdom that Mrs. Lentin taught him.

“Be compassionate, teach with love; because that’s the same way she did it,” said Acebo. “So I’m trying to emulate her when I teach my class.”

“I immediately noticed her passion. You can see it in her eyes and her way of being that teaching was something she was made to do,” said Perez. She is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met.”

Acebo and Perez are not the only ones; many teachers in South Florida and beyond are thankful for Lentin’s hard work and service. Some may owe their career to her dedication and compassion.  

The School of Education is pleased to honor a truly remarkable career, for a remarkable woman.