On Wednesday, May 8 Panola College held a reception to honor long time employee Mrs. Linda Vickery. Employees from Panola College gathered in the Ballroom to thank Linda for her time at Panola College and to wish her well in her retirement.

Linda Whiddon Vickery was born in 1947, ironically the same year as Panola College was started. She is the fifth of six children born to Monroe and Syble (Adams) Whiddon. She grew up in Joaquin, Texas and graduated from Joaquin High School. She then attended Colonial Beauty School in Nacogdoches, Texas and was licensed in 1966. She worked one year in Nacogdoches at Mildred’s Beauty Salon/ Merle Norman Studio. In 1967 she married David Vickery and moved to Tenaha, Texas. They have two children, Brad Vickery and Mandy Vickery Smelser. They also have two grandsons Jake Smelser and Colt Vickery, and a step-grandson Clay Marable.

In 1967 she opened Linda’s Beauty Salon in Tenaha, Texas, and in 1972 was licensed as a Cosmetology Instructor. Seventeen years later she closed her beauty salon and accepted the position of Cosmetology Instructor for Panola College at the newly opened Shelby College Center. Cosmetology was the first program offered on that campus. Twenty-five students enrolled that first year and thus she began a 29 year career teaching cosmetology. Approximately 650 students have passed through her classroom doors since 1984. Of those, 478 completed the program and received their cosmetology license.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments of the many students that I have taught,” said Linda. “I leave the cosmetology program in very capable hands. The new instructors are former students to whom I was privileged to teach both the operator and instructor courses. My plans after retirement are to spend time with family and participate in church outreach programs. I also plan to remain connected to the cosmetology program by serving as a substitute instructor when needed.”