Former LPS educator returns to the classroom through substitute teaching

Pat Shepard’s love for the classroom runs deep.

Shepard has been an educator for more than 50 years. She’s taught Spanish most of her career.

“I love introducing students to the Spanish language– helping them grow,” Shepard said.

Shepard worked for Lincoln Public Schools for 33 years. She taught at Dawes Middle School and Southeast High School. Shepard finished her career at Lincoln High before retiring in 2006 – a school near and dear to her heart.

“It was like my life had come full circle because I was teaching in the same room where I learned Spanish as a student,” she said. “I graduated in 1965. My mother graduated in 1936 and my daughters graduated in 1988 and 1989. I love the diversity of the school and the amazing students and staff. Once a Link, always a Link.”

Now, the longtime educator is back. She’s been substituting as a Spanish teacher across the school district for the past eight years.

“I love teaching and working with students. Subbing to me is like being a grandma. I go in, work with the students and go home without all of the other responsibilities of being their regular teacher,” she joked.

Shepard saw a need for substitute teachers, especially in Spanish. So, she decided to come out of retirement to lend a helping hand.

“Substitute teachers are very important,” she said. “We can help ensure that learning will continue even when the regular teacher can't be there.”

Shepard said she gets joy from helping students work through academic roadblocks and succeed.

“I love it when I can help a student who has been struggling with learning something in Spanish and they finally get it,” she said. “I also love subbing for English Language Learners' classrooms because the students are so eager to learn. The Spanish speakers love it when I'm there because I can really help them when they get confused.” 

The Spanish teacher encourages anyone considering substitute teaching to do it, including fellow retirees.

“It is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people and to support teachers. It's a great part-time job,” Shepard said.

Are you interested in becoming an LPS substitute educator? Visit our human resources website to learn how at


Published: November 18, 2022, Updated: March 17, 2023

Longtime Educator Pat Shepard teaching Spanish at Schoo Middle School as a substitute teacher.