A Lilly in a field of daisies


Haylee Haxton

Mrs. Lilly subbing in a class of juniors.

As she rolls out of bed, she feels the aches and pains overwhelming her body.  Despite her seemingly endless obstacles, she wakes up ready to go to school each day with a smile on her face. With a passion for teaching and determination to boot, former teacher Willene Lilly strives to change lives of students every chance she gets.

Lilly is a well known and respected substitute teacher for Lindale. After teaching for 38 years, she now returns as often as she can to be back in the classroom with students.

   “Teaching has totally changed my life,” Mrs. Lilly said. “I love being with the students and watching their growth.”

Lilly hopes to leave her mark on every student she comes across. She aspires to be someone students know they can trust and come to with anything.

   “Mrs. Lilly has taught me to always progress,” sophomore Samantha Rodden said. “She reminds me that no matter what happens in life, if I really want something, I need to pursue that.”

   All the experiences and tribulations Lilly has gone through play a key role in the way she teaches. She hopes to prepare and inspire students before they leap into the real world of today.

   “I worry about people going into society today because of the things thrown at them,” Lilly said. “But I think coming from Lindale makes students stronger and lets students leave with a better feeling about themselves. I want them to know they can make it.”

   One of  Lilly’s ultimate goals is to help build students’ confidence. She tells her story of overcoming adversity in order to hopefully inspire students to be persistent in their dreams as well.

   “Mrs. Lilly has been such an inspiration to me,” junior Addi Baquet said. “Her strength and determination toward all of the adversity she’s faced in her life has inspired me to be an even greater, more independent young woman. She has taught me how to be confident, and her love for not only me, but for everyone around her has helped me to love harder and love better.”

 As Mrs. Lilly continues to overcome her own obstacles, she hopes to set an example for those looking up to her. She aspires to leave a special legacy at Lindale High School.
    “I want students to know that I love them and I want them to remember me as someone who cared about their life,” Mrs. Lilly said. “I hope they think of me as someone who was honest with them, and if i can do that, I think I’ll have a job well done when I die.”