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Clark College to surmount tough times

first_imgDespite the setbacks, the past 12 months saw impressive success by Clark students and faculty members.Knight spent a good portion of his 45-minute address heaping praise on the school’s high achievers and hard workers — from award-winning instructors, to humanitarian aid work by world traveler and 2010 outstanding Clark alumnus Rico Selga, to the league-champion women’s cross country squad.He called out Neil Oldaker, a Clark student who pulled an 80-year-old driver from a burning car that badly torched a nearby McDonald’s restaurant.Knight also awarded special presidential coins to four “exemplary” Clark employees:o Monica Knowles, bookstore manager, praised for her focus on innovative customer service.o Janet Owens, administrative assistant for Corporate and Continuing Education, for leadership and professionalism.o Charlene Montierth, veteran geology professor and a key player in Clark’s recent, extensive accreditation process.o John Maduta, specialist for student advising services, earning high marks for his work ethic and guidance.Knight also saluted the 2010 passing of “two great leaders” for Southwest Washington and the state.He announced new $3,000 student scholarships funded by the Clark College Foundation in the names of Bill Fromhold, former Vancouver state legislator and longtime education professional and advocate, and Tom Koenninger, a Clark alumnus whose unflagging support marked his 57 years as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Columbian.Fromhold once served on the Clark board of trustees, while Koenninger was Clark’s 1990 outstanding alumnus and served more than a decade on the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Both men died on Sept. 30.Clark College President Bob Knight used a quirk of the calendar on Thursday to punctuate his annual State of the College address.Among other things, Jan. 20 is dubbed “Penguin Awareness Day.”Google confirms it, Knight noted — before he listed Clark attributes and many of the challenges few “Penguin Nation” students and instructors could miss.The latter includes soaring tuition rates and financial aid needs. Overloaded classrooms and closed class sections. Scarce parking, longer lines, higher stress — and all else that owes to recession-fueled record enrollment of 16,000 students, juxtaposed against budget cuts that jeopardize valued programs and personnel.last_img read more