New Employee Spotlight -Heidi Sheneberger

We’d like to take a moment and recognize our newest employees to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.Sheneberger, Heidi

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

I am the Interim Full-Time Adult Basic Education Faculty, taking Anne Dolan’s position while she is the Interim Basic Skills Director.  I’ve been adjunct at GRC for almost 10 years, and was a classroom aid here in a GED classroom for 2 years before that.  My M.Ed. is from Seattle University’s Adult Education and Training program, so I specialize in teaching a diverse adult student population a broad range of topics.  I’ve also worked at a couple other schools, but for the last two years, GRC has kept me pretty busy, so I’ve been very lucky.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Green River has always been a part of my life.  I grew up a mile away, and I would come do research at the library for assignments for school because it was closer to my house than my school’s or the public libraries.  Then, I was a student here before transferring to Central Washington University.  One of my first jobs after earning my B.A. was back here at Green River as a classroom aid, and then, once I had my master’s degree, I got hired as an adjunct.  Green River is one of the few safe places in the world for me.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?

I used to live 57 miles away, so I’d listen to NPR, books on tape, and calming music on stressful traffic days.  But now I live about 8 minutes away, so I really don’t have time to listen to anything.  I totally love it!!

What was the very first job you ever had?

At 14, I got a job as the Fat Quarter Girl at my mom’s friend’s quilt shop here in Auburn, The Calico Cat.  But pretty soon, I taught myself how to run the cash register, because cutting and folding fat quarters got old really quick.  I worked there after school and on holidays and weekends for almost 11 years.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I’m always excited every quarter to get back in the classroom and work with students, regardless of position.  Adult Basic Education has such a direct impact on student’s lives, so it is always rewarding.  I’m also excited to help grow GRC’s High School 21+ program further, and help develop the capacity to start awarding students high school diplomas in a new and innovative way.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?

As a former adjunct, I’d love to establish an adjunct mentorship and orientation process to our program, so adjuncts feel included and valued here.  Each school they teach at is different, and I feel it’s important that they know where to turn to ask questions that are Green River-ABE-program-specific.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

First, I’m very proud of my education.  I worked very hard to get where I am, and I believe I’m a better teacher because school didn’t always come easy to me.  I can commiserate with students if they struggle, and I remember what it feels like to be challenged.  Second, I have had clothing that I’ve designed, pattern-drafted, and constructed accepted into juried, international textile shows, and I’m very proud of that.  Lastly, I’ve lived through some very difficult, “out-of-order” events in my life.  I realize I’m not the only one to have done this, but again, I think it allows me to identify with my students’ difficult, and often tragic, life situations.

Also, my dad worked here in the bookstore for ten years after he retired from teaching elementary school.  When he died suddenly in 2001, my family established the John C. Sheneberger Memorial Scholarship here with the Green River Foundation.  I am extremely proud that every year, a student here at GRC can attend school with a little less debt, thanks to this scholarship.  :)

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?

I have no idea, but hopefully it would be something that would reflect my hard work and happy attitude with students. J  Sometimes, people call me D, because then it’s easier to say hello = “Hi D!!”  (Get it??  Because my name is Heidi??  Get it??)

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?

I can rock a karaoke mic like nobody’s business.  And I quilt, but that would be difficult and boring to watch in a talent show…

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?

This is a tough one.  If it’s about the school, I’d say something like:  Generate Rigorous and Energetic (classes for) Engaged (student) learNing, but that’s definitely a stretch…I’d have to think about it a little bit longer.

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