Lida Dvorak has been teaching for 31 years. All of those years have been spent educating the students of Burlington. She has dedicated the last 25 years to teaching students at Flynn Elementary School, but she also taught at Champlain Elementary School, H.O. Wheeler Elementary School, Lawrence Barnes Elementary School, Edmunds School and Burlington High School. Most of us know her as a physical education teacher, but she also was a long term sub and taught science at BHS.
Lida was a valued member of the Burlington Education Association Teacher Contract Negotiation Team. She was part of this team for five years, always standing up for the needs of teachers and students. Her advocacy was strong and her arguments were backed by experience and perceptiveness. When Lida spoke, everyone listened.
Keep in mind that the little things mean so much for your students. Don’t doubt yourself.Lida Dvorak
Words from Lida:
What I am proudest of: It all comes down to being a member of a diverse community and contributing as a new English learner at the beginning of my teaching career. I appreciate the acceptance of the community and that they trusted me to teach. I’m also proud that I moved from the Czech Republic, pursued a Vermont teaching license, learned English and raised a young family all at the beginning of my career.
What I will miss: The children the most. The students make my day, every day. Without them I wouldn’t want to do the job. I will miss my colleagues. Especially the Flynn unified arts team.
Advice to pass on: Always remember you have a huge, tremendous impact you don’t realize. You don’t think that you do. Keep in mind that the little things mean so much for your students. Don’t doubt yourself.
Future plans: I will go back to our family business – 802 Timing – to be part of high school athletics. I will stay involved with local communities and schools and colleges. When it is safe, I will travel in an RV around the U.S. I also hope to become a grandmother!
It’s weird, bittersweet. I’m looking forward to a new chapter. It will change my life so much. There’s a lot of thinking ahead – adjusting. I’m optimistic. It will be alright.
Words from Colleagues:
“Lida is a force to be reckoned with! She is always the first person to stand up for what she believes to be right and fair. Her voice, activism, knowledge, and her support will be missed next year!” Amanda Schauwecker
“Lida was always a strong advocate for teachers’ rights who fought for fairness and equity.” Beth Bloomberg
“The most stylish PE teacher on the planet!” Emily Willette
“Lida is encouraging and introduces students to ways that will help them make lifelong healthy choices through her PE classes. Lida has been a voice for her colleagues in tough situations with negotiations and school board relationships. Lida helped to guide colleagues with the relicensing process and has gone above and beyond to make sure all teachers have access to resources. Lida we will miss our “mini meetings” in the morning in our classrooms, we will miss picking on you when you lug the PE equipment up and down the hallways, we will miss your humor and your smile. Good luck with retirement!” Kelly Nido, Jennifer Tremblay, and Melisa Peterson
Everyone knows Lida’s impact on thousands of PE students, but few know her impact behind the scenes. She has helped to negotiate four teacher’s contracts, including the “45 minutes from striking” contract and the “actually out on strike contract.” For those two contracts especially, she stood up to enormous pressure from a hostile school board, the District’s attorneys, the mediator and even the mayor to win teachers a fair contract with fair healthcare. Beyond her work for teachers, Lida’s work for Burlington’s athletes has persisted for decades. She ran the BHS Cross Country preseason camp for more than a decade. Coming off her own career as an elite downhill skier, she was the longtime BHS Alpine coach with her husband Pavel. On most spring afternoons, you’ll find her alongside the track finish line, running the timing equipment for her family’s 802 Timing electronic track business. Somehow, she found the time to raise three amazing children and become a successful stock market investor. Lida’s effect on the Burlington School District has been profound for three decades– hundreds of educators and thousands of students are in her debt! Dan Hagan
“I have had a great 20 years being a PE colleague of Lida’s. I love her enthusiasm for teaching……. and of course she dresses pretty good too!!!!” Tammy Charbonneau
“Lida is passionate about the profession of physical education and she always advocates for what is best for kids. She will be missed by all and we wish her well on her next adventures! Xoxo” Tyler Sessions