The hundreds of South High School Rebelettes she coached referred to Linda Sargent as "the Sarge," both affectionately and perhaps a bit ruefully, for the military-like standards she set for them. But advising the drill team was just one of many posts capably held by longtime educator Sargent, who died late last year at age 74.
“Linda would step in and help the students succeed,” said South High Principal Grumling, a former Rebelette and student of Sargent's. “She was a role model to many of us, and females especially who maybe didn't have the confidence to believe they could go on and be the leader of something like she was.”
Sargent held a host of positions throughout the Kern High School District during a nearly 30-year career there. After retiring as the curriculum coordinator for physical education and health, Sargent became a state consultant. She helped craft anti-bullying programs and crisis-response training, worked with at-risk youth and assisted in forging a relationship between schools and law enforcement.
Despite her accomplishments, she always had a soft spot for the Rebelettes, and embraced her military nickname, going so far as to get a vanity license plate, L SARGE, on her 1970s shag-carpeted van she called the Gray Ghost for the pirate ship painted on the side.
“Dr. Floyd was definitely a pillar in the community,” said Patrick Jackson, president of the Bakersfield chapter of the NAACP. “She was a woman of integrity and great class. ... Her legacy will continue to make a difference in this community.”