This is the sixth of seven profiles of the 2019 honorees of the Outstanding Women of Clinton County Class of 2019.
A nominee for the 2019 Class of Outstanding Women of Clinton County, this retired teacher, costume designer/wardrobe mistress, photographer and devoted grandmother, Linda Rinehart, is described by her nominator as “multi-talented, generous, smart, kind and considerate.”
Rinehart graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wright State University with a double major in History and English Education. She later went on to earn her Master’s degree in History Management from Wright State.
Her 32-year career as an educator included writing and designing curriculum for the humanities with a focus on incorporating music, art, history, English and writing.
Supporting students both in and out of the classroom, Rinehart served as advisor to the yearbook and junior/senior prom. She also coached cheerleading for 20 years and volunteered as 4-H advisor for several years.
For the past 25 years the Wilmington community has known Rinehart as, “the lady with the camera around her neck.” She has taken thousands of photographs of athletic and arts events at Wilmington High School. Before the advent of digital photography made photo-sharing easier, she generously printed the pictures and gave them to hundreds of students.
For the 50th anniversary of the Wilmington High School wrestling program, Rinehart spent hours digitizing photographic negatives from past decades so they could be used in slide presentations. She made CD’s of each year and presented them to longtime coach Jeff Wiederhold. She printed hundreds of these photos for the former wrestlers as well.
Rinehart also used her photographic skills to cover school events for the Wilmington News Journal for 25 years.
She continued her support of Wilmington students after retirement. She mentored students in FFA Career Development Events, judged speech contests and assisted officers in organizing the annual fruit sale. She was twice named Honorary Chapter Member.
Rinehart’s role as costume designer and wardrobe mistress started in 1991 with the community production of “Lincoln’s Last Hours.” In addition to acting in the show, she worked on obtaining costumes for the cast.
In 1992 Rinehart researched and obtained authentic period costumes for the production as it traveled to Gettysburg for a Fourth of July week performance. She personally transported all the costumes for the entire cast.
In April 1995 and again in 2003, Rinehart pursued obtaining even better costumes for the show. She also reprised her role as Mrs. Mountchessington.
The nominee also shares her skills in the costume department with the annual Murphy Christmas Show production. She started volunteering with the show in 2004, took a break and then began helping again in 2017. This past year she dressed the cast for the opening Dickens era number almost entirely from her own costume collection.
Rinehart has recently taken on the role of “Tennis Grandma”. She helps transport her grandson and fellow middle school tennis players to matches when parents can’t get off work early enough to do so. They can then come to the matches and watch when they get off work.
Parents appreciate the help and, as Rinehart says, “That’s what retirement is for.”
Whether it is as educator, photographer, costume designer/mistress, or grandma, Linda Rinehart continues to give tirelessly to the community.
Tickets for the 2019 Outstanding Women of Clinton County luncheon — set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2 — are $25 (cash or check accepted, payable to “OWCC”). Reservations can be made at the Wilmington News Journal, 761 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington, OH 45177. The News Journal’s office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you have any questions, please call 937-382-2574. Reservations will be accepted through Thursday, Feb. 28.
The event is sponsored by the Wilmington News Journal, with generous support from Clinton Memorial Hospital, Peoples Bank, Abbott Image Solutions, Wilmington Savings Bank and Wilmington College.