By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Just about the time that the Imperial Extended Campus of Mid-Plains Community College (MPCC) opened, a Chase County Schools (CCS) teacher joined the campus staff.
Cathy Howard is now teaching her 10th year of summer classes at MPCC and plans to continue.
According to MPCC Campus Coordinator Brenda Ledall, Howard has taught 11 speech classes, seven Expository Writing I classes, five Expository Writing II classes and one family memory writing class.
In addition, she taught a speech class at the Ogallala MPCC campus.
This fall she will teach a public speaking class, as well as more expository writing.
Howard, who was an English and speech teacher at CCS, retired in 2009. “I wanted to retire while it was still fun.”
But teaching is in her blood.
“I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t like it,” she said of the MPCC classes. “It just keeps me busy,” she laughed.
Ledall said that Howard’s teaching is valuable in that she is “dual credit-certified,” meaning that her students receive both high school and college credit for a class.
In addition, Ledall calls Howard “extremely techy,” in that she teaches her classes both in person in the classroom and by distance learning, or by video. But, she adds an online aspect to those classes, meaning that students can submit homework and participate in discussions online.
“I think that’s phenomenal because most adjuncts don’t take the time to be that engaged,” Ledall commented.
Howard’s classes are tough, too. “Once you get out of her class you really are a better writer,” Ledall stated.
One testimonial to Howard’s teaching is from a young man who’ll be a senior this fall.
He sent Howard a letter noting that his ACT scores in 2013 were 18 in English and 20 in reading. After taking Howard’s class, he scored a 21 in English and a 27 in reading.
“I would like to thank you for everything that you have taught me! I’m glad that I took your class,” he wrote.
“Hey, yeah, I like those feedbacks,” Howard responded. “A lot of it depends on what effort the students put into it.”
Ledall credits Howard and teachers like her with the existence of the Imperial Extended Campus. “We have a lot of awesome people who teach here,” she noted.
“She’s just been kind of a backbone for the Imperial campus. She’s faithful teaching and doesn’t even take semesters off,” Ledall said.