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Know your educator: Loyd Star principal loves shaping lives

Robin Case, principal of Loyd Star Attendance Center, traveled the world before making Lincoln County her home.

Her  father worked in oil fields, and she lived overseas 16 1/2 years before beginning a short stint at Loyd Star, graduating early because she had attended an advanced school overseas.

She lived in countries including Brazil, for five years, and Ethiopia for 1 1/2 years, before she came to Lincoln County as an 11th grader and graduated in two months.

She has been principal of the attendance center 11 years after being principal of the elementary school 1 1/2 years. She’s been with Loyd Star more than 12 years, since 2007.

In her school office, the Caseyville resident has a tin cut-out in the shape of Mississippi with a quote that often attracts the attention of students. It’s a William Faulkner saying, “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.”

“It’s really true,” she said, adding that she enjoys helping shape the lives of students.

“I enjoyed teaching in the classroom, but being an administrator gives me an opportunity to help more children. Every day is different.

“We have some 790 kids from all walks of life. Some need educational encouragement; some need an attitude adjustment; and some need to be disciplined. It’s a variety of kids and we want to be available to students and parents to fix any problem if we can.”

Case said one of the most exciting opportunities at Loyd Star is its agricultural career training and some pilot programs.

The agricultural program is “a school within a school. The students have all their requirements for graduation plus specialized training that can get them a job straight out of high school, she said.

“Not every child needs a college degree.”

For example, students at Loyd Star can study welding, take a test and immediately go from graduation to a job.

The school also has programs, such as animal science and small engines.

“For the student who doesn’t want to go to college, we want to do everything we can to help that child reach their path,” Case said.

She said she has two priorities when she’s not working.

“Number one is spending time with family, and number two is handcrafted needlework such as crewelwork embroidery and felt applique, skills my aunt taught me when I was a young girl.

“I find needlework very relaxing. And I can take my needlework to outdoor events and tournaments and stitch away from the sidelines.”

Her husband Dwain is also a Loyd Star graduate. They have a son and daughter and four granddaughters. The two oldest girls are Loyd Star students. 

The family attends Southway Baptist Church.

Story by Robin Eyman.