Education was the career Lyn Domsten always wanted to pursue, but after 30 years with Ector County Independent School District, he has retired.
Domsten, an instructional technology specialist, had been in the instructional technology department for 20 years and a classroom teacher for a decade, mainly at the elementary level.
“In this department, our job really is to find innovative, creative ways to incorporate technology in the classroom, so when we hear a teacher mention a certain TEK that they’re teaching, our job is to find a tool that will help make that job easier,” Domsten said.
TEKS, or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills are state curriculum standards.
“I think the part that I enjoy is finding the challenge in just kind of finding a practical and innovative tool that will make a teacher’s job easier and a student really enjoy what they’re learning. I think when you can transform a classroom with the use of technology … kids get excited. They have fun with what they’re doing. They’re challenged by it. They have creativity; ideas going. I think when you see that kind of stuff happening, that’s what makes it fun to teach,” Domsten added.
He said he probably spent a larger percentage of time with teachers, but when he got a chance to work with the students and model a lesson, he enjoyed that, as well.
The Domstens are from Plenty Wood, Mont., and were high school sweethearts.
Domsten attended Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, N.D. for about three and a half years.
It’s a small college that was unaccredited back then, so he had to transfer to Crown College, originally called St. Paul Bible College.
Beth, his wife to be, was the registrar at Trinity Bible College.
“When we decided to get married, I had to take a semester off. … We determined that I had to transfer to that other school (Crown College). When we made the transfer, she had to give up her job there (at Trinity) and when we made that transfer there was the exact same job at St. Paul Bible College, now called Crown. The exact same,” Domsten said.
He found a brochure in the placement office there about Odessa needing teachers, so he called for an interview. Within a day, he was hired.
Domsten credits Donnie Norwood, a longtime ECISD employee, principal and technology officer who also served on the board of trustees, for helping him get into the technology track of education and Marilee Holmes, a former teacher and principal.
Domsten said his wife, Beth, retired as a data clerk from Hays STEAM Academy about three years ago. They plan to keep Odessa as a base and do a little traveling to Colorado and New York. The couple has two daughters, Tessa Lisinbe, and Alissa, who died when she was 9. They also have two granddaughters.
They have done mission work in Africa and Beth has gone to Haiti. Members of Life Unlimited Church, the Domstens try to help people get a better idea of what technology is, how it might help them improve their lives and share the love of Christ with them.
They are hoping to make more mission trips.
Domsten’s last day was June 3.
“I’m going to miss my coworkers because in this department there are so many changes going on with technology we work so close together as a team to help make a plan and we teach each other different technologies; we’re not all proficient at every one of them, so if there’s one that someone else is proficient at, we may ask them to come to our campus and help us out. But generally, we work together in formulating a plan to carry it out,” Domsten said.
Domsten said he has to sit out a year under Texas Retirement System rules, but it’s possible he could be back.
“… You never know. The door is always open. There’s always a door for the things that I know and what I can do with kids and with technology …,” Domsten said.
Kellie Wilks, instructional technology coordinator, Director of Instructional Technology Renee Jones, and technology specialist Lauren Tavarez, all said they would miss Domsten.
“Lyn is a wonderful colleague and he’ll be deeply missed,” Wilks said.
She added that Domsten is taking lots of information and knowledge with him.
“This year with it being my first year doing this, he is always willing to help. He’s always willing to brainstorm with us; just really strong part of our team and contributing to the great things that our team came up with this year, so we definitely are going to miss him. He is irreplaceable on our team,” Tavarez said.
Jones said Domsten was a world-class leader in the department.
“He’s going to be missed greatly,” Jones said.