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Leadership Voice: Omar Delgado

by Omar Delgado, Director of Media Publications, Educational Technology Specialist

I remember it like it was yesterday. Back in August 1997, I walked into room A21, ready to learn from the legend himself, John Lynskey. I had been looking forward to this class since middle school, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. 

Learning about the White Mice, Dien Bien Phu, Ho Chi Minh, and John Kennedy from Mr. Lynskey was something else. But the real deal was realizing, “Man, this guy can really teach!” That’s when I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and not just any teacher – I wanted to be a teacher at Christopher Columbus High School, just like Mr. Lynskey.

In 2003, I was hired as a world history teacher at CCHS. One of the first people I called was Lynskey. I hit him with a ton of questions, and his advice? Super straightforward: “O, just use your common sense, and you’ll do fine.” When I asked for more, he added, “Common sense isn’t so common anymore.” That simple statement really made me think. 

Mr. Lynskey giving a lecture on the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Over the last 21 years, whenever I needed some solid advice, Lynskey was my go-to guy. He always had this way of dropping the right line from a movie or a song that just made things click.

Like Lynskey, who was both a football coach and a history teacher, I started my journey at Columbus coaching basketball while teaching history. His dual role at Columbus was a big part of why I chose this path. But life has its twists and turns. Due to health reasons, I had to step away from coaching. It was then that I took over CCNN Live, the school’s broadcast journalism program. Lynskey might not know this, but one of the reasons I embraced this new role was because I felt an obligation to give more to the school, just as Lynskey had done for so many years.

Our bond has only gotten stronger with time. I remember taking him out to lunch to meet my then-girlfriend, now wife, Natacha. And those pre-game football dinners with him and Mr. Chris McKeon are some of the best memories I have. They have both played a huge part in shaping who I am today, both as a person and as a teacher.

When John moved away from teaching to being an administrator at Columbus, I thought we were losing something big. But I was wrong. His switch meant the whole school got a taste of the Lynskey magic. And when he started those “lunch and learns”, teaching voluntarily during school lunches, I realized just how much of a legend he really is.

Even recently, I called John for some career advice. He’s always there, ready to help. His steady support has been a major part of my journey as a teacher.

In the beginning, I tried to be just like Lynskey. But he told me straight up?: I had to be myself, take what I learned from him and other great teachers, and make it my own. Now, 21 years in, I think I’ve done that. I’ve got my own style, and it’s definitely unique. But, every day in my classroom, there’s a bit of Mr. Lynskey’s wisdom.

To all the students I’ve been lucky enough to teach: you’ve had a slice of Mr. Lynskey’s legacy in everything we’ve done. As for me—I’m still trying to be half the teacher he has been to me.

Mr. Delgado posing with Mr. Lynskey for an episode of the "Looking Back with Lynskey" podcast.

Thanks, John. You’ve been a teacher, a mentor, but most of all, a great friend. And every day, I’m working to live up to the legacy you’ve left for all of us, Columbus alumni teachers. 


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