Ms. Eleanor S. Lyle is known within the Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) as a volunteer extraordinaire. She has given her time at Harris Elementary School for 15 years, every single school day, for eight hours a day. A loving smile awaits every child and staff member that walks in the door. Whether they need a bandage, an ice pack, or a hug, Ms. Lyle is there with open arms.
Ms. Lyle rarely leaves her post for lunch or appointments. She does what she does because she loves the Harris staff and students. On the rare occasion that she is out, she is missed by everyone. No one enters the door without asking, “Where is Miss Eleanor”? She is known as the school grandmother to the students and a mother to the staff.
Seeing her in the office, one might not guess what a life she’s led; a life that has given her the opportunity to be a guest during special events at the White House. Ms. Lyle was born on September 8, 1934 in San Diego, California to Filipino immigrants, Nicanor Salvador and Ernestine Salvador. Her father was a career Navy man and the family traveled throughout his career. Upon his retirement, he moved the family to Washington, DC where he became a White House Chef to five United States Presidents and their families: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.
Ms. Lyle went on to college after high school, and soon after became a Registered Nurse at the George Washington University Hospital. This is where she met her husband, Nelson Bates Lyle, who was one of her patients. They married and had three children. Mr. Lyle at that time was working for the CIA in Washington, DC. Years later, Ms. Lyle would find herself back in California, now with her own family. They lived in El Segundo for a few years, and then moved to Redondo Beach where they bought a home they would live in for two decades. With their kids now adults and retirement around the corner, the Lyles moved to Arizona. They were married until Mr. Lyle’s passing in 1998. This brought Ms. Lyle back to California a third time, to Bakersfield, where she fell in love with the students and staff at Harris Elementary School. She has three children, eight grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren. When she isn’t at Harris, Ms. Lyle can be found reading, doing crossword puzzles, or watching football and cheering for her team, the Washington Redskins.