What do you enjoy most about your work at Chemeketa?
The people. It has a pulse. Between students, staff and faculty, if you want to get involved and get to know people across areas you can. I think those connections really make us special and it allows us to serve students better when we’re all connected.
What person living or gone inspires you?
Ione McDermott. My grandmother died before I was born and she was my grandmother’s best friend. She never had kids or a family of her own but helped her mom raise her siblings. She worked hard her whole life and would do anything for anyone without a complaint. She was an amazingly wonderful person, a role model of how to treat people and carry on in life. She never asked for anything but worked hard to make sure everyone else’s needs were met. She died a month before I moved to Oregon.
What would be your personal motto?
“People have value.” Treat people with dignity and respect. People aren’t broken and they aren’t there to fix. I used to work with at-risk high school students and people would be like ‘how do you work with them?’. They aren’t broken. They don’t need me to apply my value system to them.
What’s one thing people wouldn’t guess about you?
I’m an introvert.
Describe yourself using only two words
Introspective and shy.
When are you at your most relaxed?
I like hiking in the middle of nowhere alone. It’s peaceful and it’s quiet. You’re out in nature being reflective at Silver Falls or wherever. It’s a time to recharge after being “on” all the time.
How do you determine or evaluate success?
Progress, persistence, moving to the next step. Leaving people better than they were when they came to you, or leaving yourself better than when you started. Even challenges can be successful; you can learn what doesn’t work.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was being elected to the Dubuque, Iowa board of education when I was 19. It is the seventh largest school district in Iowa, about 11,000 students with an operating budget of $100 million. I served two terms, being re-elected when I was 22.
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