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At a performance review with my Department Dean, she mentioned the exceptional reviews I received from students and faculty, then asked “Do you have any concerns?” I replied that I was considering leaving teaching, that often I feel disappointed because I can’t put all of my students to work.
She gave me sound advice about teaching being more than academic skills. It’s also being a mentor and a role model. Kindness, respect and patience toward people in need can make a huge difference in their lives, regardless of whether they end up working in our industry.
My path to becoming a teacher was not a direct one. I worked 26 years as a printing press operator. In 1999 a change of career led me into web design. I earned a Certificate in web design from Clover Park Technical College. I worked for a year as a full time web designer in Tacoma. On the side, I began a freelance web design business. After building a website for CPTC, the College asked me to teach some web classes in the program from which I graduated 2 years before.
In 2005 I was employed as full time Adjunct Faculty in the Media Design department. In 2012 I was honored to be granted Tenure. But the stock market crash of 2008 eventually trickled down to the community college level. Despite some great leadership in our administration, we faced a long drawn out series of budget cuts. In 2015 this led to the closure of the 25 year old Media Design program, along with several other long standing programs.
As of 2016, I continue to teach part time in the Computer Programming and Web Development department. I love sharing my passion for web design and development with the students. We have a great program and regularly put our students to work in web development and programming jobs around the region.