Linda Heatwole Bland graduated with a BS in Education from Eastern Mennonite College in 1964 and from West Virginia University in 1970 with an MA in Reading Education. She retired after a 37-year career in literacy education in 2002. She was an educator in public schools in Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio; and held positions as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, and Title I coordinator. From 1987-2002 she was the Instructional Supervisor for reading, English, language arts, foreign languages, and English-as-a Second Language in Harrisonburg City Public Schools.
She served many years as co-chair of the Legislative Issues Committee of the Virginia State Reading Association and lobbied members of the Virginia General Assembly to pass legislation for state-funded reading specialists in every school in the Commonwealth. In March 2002, she was the recipient of the Virginia State Reading Association’s James D. Mullins Award for exemplary leadership in reading and literacy. She most recently served on the VMRC Foundation Board and co-chaired the Woodland Park homes campaign. She also volunteers at Massanutten Regional Library
As an alumnus of her alma mater and a long-time resident of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County community, she says it was a joy and a privilege to serve on the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Board for ten years. She continues to be an advocate for the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival and looks forward each June to the exceptional music the Festival brings to this community. She and her husband, Sidney, are members of the Bach Guild.