Twenty-two years at Estrella Mountain Community College, six at the Maricopa Community Colleges' District Office, six at Northern Arizona University prefaced by short stints at The University of Illinois and University of North Carolina it's time to start a new life.
So much to do; so little time.
I've had it easy compared to almost everyone. Sixth of seven children born to a family who the Great Depression deprived of everything but a sense of right and wrong and family pride I had the best of parents. Raised on a farm free to do unsupervised important work that contributed to family success.
I was also born healthy and have a close to obsessive-compulsive work ethic but those aren't the major reasons I've had a good life. Marrying Marylyn Patton, and staying with her for several decades, put me on third-base.
No profession is perfect but being employed by The Maricopa Community Colleges was a lot like being raised on our farm. When I first came to Estrella a colleague named Steve Shriver facilitated the consensus belief that "We build better communities one life at a time because your success is our success." I seized the freedom to "Make dreams come true."
I pioneered development and deployment of high quality Internet-enhanced courses and wrote and provided students with printed, bound continuously improved desk-references at no cost to themselves.
Career choice mistakes cost money. Students taught by me were also supported by an interactive an on-line career development program I created that makes it easier to make logical career choices.
Southwest Valley parents can now send gifted 10th grade children to Estrella to complete high school; and for they themselves to complete an associate degree at Estrella followed by Northern Arizona University baccalaureate and master's degrees; without leaving home.
Furthermore, the Northern Arizona University degrees offered at Estrella help community members' advance in the very jobs most Southwest Valley residents hold.
We've been incredibly lucky. Married right and employed by the best higher education system in America. It doesn't get better than this.