This spring we say goodbye to 12 of our colleagues as they retire. Many have already left campus, retiring earlier in the year, but we hope they will join us at this year's All Campus Retirement Party on Friday, June 11, 2010. Four of this year's retirees - Helen Hancock, Nancy Matesky, Donna Wilde and Marianne Baker shared a few thoughts before retiring.
Marianne Baker Marianne Baker earned her AAAS degree in Dental Hygiene from Shoreline Community College in 1974, her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from the University of Washington in 1986, and her master's degree in adult education in 1996. She started her teaching career at Shoreline in 1976, teaching a variety of courses including Radiology, Restorative Dentistry, Dental Anatomy, and first year clinic and pre-clinic. She has been the program director since June of 2003.
Helen Hancock has taught math full-time at SCC since 1983. Math and the sense of order have always been a part of Hancock. Even as a child, the order of things was important to her. “You don’t put shoes and socks on, you put socks and shoes on,” she says.
She found during her tenure at Shoreline that a lot of students lacked the “sense of order” that she was given, and advocated for and was instrumental in launching the Math Learning Center to provide support for these students. The center has become an important service for thousands of Shoreline students. She was the director of the center for five years.
Hancock also feels passionate about young girls being exposed to math and science in a way that is non-threatening and fun. She worked for approximately 20 years on the annual conference, Expanding Your Horizons in hopes of lessening the gender gap and increasing the participation of many underrepresented groups in science and computing. Over the years more and more faculty and staff supported the success of the program and Hancock says that she still appreciates the campus-wide response to her many calls for help and the generous contributions to the cause.
Hancock taught part-time at several other local community colleges before joining Shoreline as a full-time instructor. Today she enjoys her memories and friendships of faculty at Bellevue, South, and North community colleges as well as those here at SCC.
Before moving to the area, Hancock lived in western North Carolina, where she taught math, science and art in a public school in the Appalachian Mountains. She cooked on a woodstove and carried water to the kitchen from a spring, and she learned to weave and wood carve at a Folkschool of Danish origins.
Hancock says she has been in school since she was five years old. “After 45 years of teaching,” she says, “I’m going to slow down a bit, teach a little, sail more, garden more and read a book.”
Donna Wilde began her 25 year career at Shoreline Community College in 1985; her first 10 years as a professor in the HCI Program, the last 15 as the director of the program while continuing to teach. Before joining the Shoreline team, Wilde held various teaching, consulting and management positions in health information systems.
Her fondest memories of Shoreline speak to the quality of faculty and staff she worked with during her tenure as well as her students. “They (colleagues) have been so helpful, supportive, energetic, knowledgeable and fun. They are great individuals to model my own professional and personal life,” she says.
Wilde has equally enjoyed the hundreds of students she has worked with, and says that she continues to keep in touch with graduates, many of whom, she says, are now working and accepting HCI students into internships.
Although Wilde has met many goals, the fact that the HCI program has gone entirely online is something that she is very proud of, saying that next year the program will graduate four times as many students as this year. She says that 40 percent of them live outside the Puget Sound area. Wilde says that she appreciates so much the eLearning Department for their help in learning how to teach online.
“I have learned so much while working here,” she says, “but the most enriching for me was to learn about the various faculty disciplines and courses they teach.”
Reflecting on her time at Shoreline, Wilde recalls laughter at committee meetings, tears over the loss of loved ones, special moments when struggling students exhibited courage and excellence, and faculty members’ excitement over new ways of teaching. She recalls being impressed with staff calmly handling stressed out students, and administrators mentoring during difficult times and situations. “But most of all,” she says, “I remember the hours Gloria Anderson and I have spent together these last 10 years in moving our program forward – she has been a wonderful colleague and friend.”
Wilde plans to keep very busy in her retirement to replace the interaction with colleagues that she has enjoyed so much. She plans on doing some serious business with her “to do” list, but has planned fun time as well -– a trip to the Seattle Sculpture Park, taking the time to explore Seattle. “I might even take a bus tour to see what visitors see.” She also plans on taking a few trips away from the area, to spend more time with her family, and hopefully going to a matinee where she is the only one in the theater.
Wilde doesn’t plan on leaving the teaching world completely, saying she will probably teach part-time --”but I can do that from home since the classes are all online,” she says with a smile.
Sometime in the mid-1970s, Nancy Matesky and her husband, Mike, left teaching jobs at West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M) to move to Seattle. Once here, Matesky applied at public schools, colleges and universities, landing a temporary job at Shoreline (due to a leave of absence by Gloria Swisher) teaching class piano, private piano and music theory for four quarters. When that ended, Matesky stayed home to raise their two children until 1980 when she returned to Shoreline to teach piano part-time. Then, in 1988, when John Goodrich retired, Matesky got the full-time tenure position of piano/music theory instructor.
Although her part-time and full-time work at Shoreline adds up to 31 years, she has actually taught 47 years, teaching at Arkansas public schools, the University of Arkansas, West Texas State University before coming to Shoreline. Matesky also always gave private lessons in her home.
Matesky has enjoyed countless satisfying moments during her career -- from seeing the “lights come on” when her students get the connections between piano and music theory to hearing from former students that they have been accepted into prestigious schools. Her students have gone on to study at such prestigious schools as the Manhattan School of Music, the Hartt School of Music and the New England Conservatory as well as Washington state universities. Many of her international students have returned home to teach in music schools and/or perform as well.
She fondly recalls the recitals that she, Sue Dolacky and Gloria Swisher gave to benefit the Peggy O’Coyne Music Scholarship Fund, saying how satisfying it was to see students, faculty and community members attending to support the program. “And I appreciate the support of the Foundation,” she says.
Matesky looks forward to her next career as a grandmother. Sophia Corinne, their first grandchild, was born in April and another baby girl is expected to arrive on the fourth of July.
“Shoreline has been a family affair. Mike taught audio recording classes at SCC during 1983-85. I took our children, Angela and Michael, to the SCC Child Care Center when they were very young and later they both graduated from SCC with Associate degrees before going on to other schools. Michael was in the Jazz Band and Angela was in the Chamber Chorale, Shoreline Singers and an Opera Workshop Production.”
“I know that I’m leaving the Piano Department in good hands with our excellent pianists: Helena Azevedo, Jensina Byington and Dainius Vaicaikonis,” she says with a bittersweet tone.
Other retirees this year include Sonia Frances, Financial Aid; Jeanne Helke, Science/Math/Engineering; Marjorie Higby, Special Services; Michael Lanigan, Accounting/Purchasing; Barb Little, HOPE; John Neally, Auxiliary Services; Irene Riddell, HOPE; and Linda Warren, IAS.