There is a story, somewhat apocryphal, that Mussolini made the trains run on time. However, the phrase “made the trains run on time” is central to any thoughts about how efficiently Linda Solorio runs the Lower Office. She prints, sorts, advises, organizes, staples; she even subs as nurse and classroom monitor. These duties take us only to 9:25 a.m. Imagine the rest of her day.
Read on as Di Nestel welcomes Linda to the wall:
“It didn't take long to become good friends with Linda. We quickly discovered that we grew up about 60 miles from one another and realized that we were raised with several things in common; ham salad on Wonder bread, fruit in jello, and Indiana basketball, just to name a few. A short time later, we discovered something else we had and still have in common, our love and respect for Graland Country Day School. On a number of occasions, I have heard Linda say that her work with Graland never seems like a job. Not once has she dreaded coming to work; not once in 20 years! The adults with whom she works, and the children that she serves, give her great pleasure and give her life meaning. Linda has worked with six different Lower School heads, all very different people, but all have one thing in common: they agree that they could not have done their jobs without Linda's guidance and yes, friendship.
“Linda stands out not because of what she does for Graland but for who she is while she is doing it. She is kind, empathetic, conscientious, disciplined, team-oriented, and generous. She is smart and has a great sense of humor. She is an exceptional and honest communicator. Linda is a good listener and problem solver. She is someone who is continually growing and learning. She accepts personal responsibility as she holds herself and others to high expectations. She is committed to character education for each child and has had a positive impact on our school culture. I can’t count the number of times I have seen her, with a calm and loving hand on a student’s shoulder, let him or her know in no uncertain terms, that better behavior is expected of Graland students. She loves, respects, and believes in her faculty and her students. Indeed, she is everything a master teacher strives to be.
“There is, however, one thing that Linda is more dedicated to than Graland, and that is her family: her husband George, son Nick, daughter-in-law Amanda and her four granddaughters, Nadia, Bella, Analiah, and Christiana. When I first met Linda, her son Nick was in 7th grade. Fast forward 20 years and now Nadia, his oldest and Linda's first granddaughter is in 7th grade. Where did the time go? Bella says, ‘I like the dinners that GiGi makes for us when we spend the night with her and PaPa.’ Nadia shares, ‘Gigi makes it possible for us to come to Graland. It’s the little things, like staying at her house on Thursday nights and hearing her sweet laugh while we are riding to school, that makes me feel special and lucky to have her in my life.’ Amanda, Linda’s daughter-in-law, reveals that Linda is the backbone of their family support system. She says, ‘The girls adore their GiGi ,and I think she is one of the most beautiful people I have ever known. I can talk to her about anything, and I truly value her advice on how to raise our daughters. I aspire to be more like her.’
‘Let's face it, her grandkids are not the only ones Linda takes care of during the course of a school day. Faculty, if Linda has rescued you at one time or another during your tenure at Graland, please stand and remain standing. Staff, If Linda's advice or assistance has helped you do your job better, please stand and remain standing. MS students, if you remember Ms. Solorio from your time in Lower School, stand and remain standing. K- 4th-grade students, if you know who Ms. Solorio is and maybe even think she runs the school, please stand and remain standing. Parents, if, when faced with a question, needing advice or wanting to get word to your child during the day, your first thought is to call Linda, stand and remain standing. Former faculty, staff and other guests, if you would have moved heaven and earth to be here today, stand and remain standing. Linda, you only need to look out at this gathering to understand just what you mean to everyone in our community.”