By Samuel Grant

Four of Skagit Valley College’s faculty were awarded tenure that will be effective this Fall Quarter fo 2018. These teachers have been evaluated by students as well as peers on their Tenure Review Committee. These four people include; Ms. Carolyn Dorothy, Allied Health Education, Ms. Shelley Price, Nursing, Dr. Tony St. John, Chemistry, and Mr. Kip Zwolenski, Early Childhood Education, all from the Mount Vernon campus.

In an interview with Ms. Carolyn Dorothy, who again is in the Allied Health Education Department, we can easily tell why these teachers were awarded tenure, after being evaluated for so long. Ms. Dorothy has been a teacher at Skagit Valley College for four total years now. When asked about what inspired her to teach, she replied: “I truly believe that all things happen for a reason. After receiving my BA from Western Washington University, I got hired and worked as a flight attendant for 20 years at United Airlines. After being injured on a flight and multiple surgeries later, I was unable to return to flying and was subsequently medically retired. I took an asset test through worker retraining and the results suggested that a career in Medical Billing & Coding would be a good fit. I enrolled into the Medical Billing (and) amp; Coding program at Skagit Valley College, graduating with high honors. A quarter before I graduated from SVC I was asked to tutor, alongside the instructor, a medical record simulation lab class. I enjoyed that experience so much that I asked the instructor to keep me in mind for future classes. I stayed in contact with my SVC coding instructor after graduation, and 4 years later, she asked me to come in and teach a medical terminology class at SVC. I was still working in industry as a certified medical coder when I accepted the adjunct position. A year later, a full-time tenure track position became available, I applied and was hired as a Medical Billing and Coding instructor in the Medical Assistant program”.

This showed that this teacher is truly happy to be where she is, and that she is happy with what she does. When asked about why she chose college level students, as opposed to other levels of education she replied with: “Having been an adult student, I can relate to their struggles and life experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed my student interaction during my tutoring experience, it just seemed natural to teach adult students; helping impart knowledge and industry skills to them. I love teaching our Skagit Valley College students and am so excited for their future careers!”. This teacher is truly optimistic about her student’s future, and that shows true effort in her craft. When asked about why she chose Skagit Valley College, she replied with; “While a student and as an alumna of SVC, I have always admired, respected, and genuinely liked the faculty and staff at SVC. I gleaned knowledge and understanding from each of my interactions with them. I did not set out become a teacher, however, looking back I have always had a coaching mentality and have trained new hires throughout my working career. Skagit Valley College became a natural fit”.

These teachers have been evaluated by not only their students, but their peers as well, and have more than earned their own tenure. Their hard work and commitment does not go unnoticed, and it seems to only make them better.