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Chemeketa bids recent retirees a hearty adieu

By Mike Boni

An annual Chemeketa tradition is the celebration for the members of the Chemeketa staff who decide to retire.

The Courier talked with three retirees to hear their plans, memories of Chemeketa, and advice to those who may follow in their footsteps.

Linda Reinsch was a department benefits administrator for 13 years and a library instructional technician for 18 years up until her retirement on Dec. 31.

What she will remember about Chemeketa was how it prepared her for the future.

“In the 1990s, the college wanted employees to complete bachelor’s degrees. The terms were very generous,” she said. “I could work off my loan agreement by teaching classes. It was a great endeavor and experience for me. I taught two terms of business management.”

Reinsch said she planned to remain in Woodburn, update and remodel her home, and be with my family and grandchildren.

“I will also work out of my home as an independent agent,” she said. “I will be explaining to senior citizens how their Medicare benefits work.”

Her advice to future instructors?

“Take advantage of every career training opportunity and any workshops the college offers. I had two great careers there, insurance and computer technician,” she said.

Michael Black, a Regional Cooperative College Library Service server and network administrator for 14 years, retired April 30.

Black said he had always looked to help those around him and planned on doing the same well into his retirement.

“I remember a power outage a few years ago,” he said. “It was always gratifying to handle power outages and to put the power back on. It was also always gratifying to work with staff at all levels. I enjoyed guiding the various staff members including with emergencies.”

Black’s future plans include golfing, as well as singing with a Gospel quartet.

“We sing at church and retirement communities,” he said. “It is terrifically rewarding.”

Black said he would encourage those who follow him to look at each person’s individual strengths.

“Watch for and be receptive to fellow staff to see where another person’s skills fit in. My replacement will work with 18 libraries, and he will see what a joy it is to come to work as I have every day,” he said.

Michael Bates, a computer information science instructor, will officially retire at the end of the spring term, although he said he would continue to teach part-time on the campus and online.

His advice is meant to help those who are soon about to enter the workforce.

“Most people realize that there is continual change and to stay abreast of it, even though it is difficult,” he said.

“With the ups and downs of the economy, realize a community college or technical degree is only a union card for your sixth job.”

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