By Richard Monastra, West Campus Staff Writer
“My grandfather always stressed the importance of education,” said Sally Kurowski,Director of Developmental Education and Learning Services at Cuyahoga Community College. “I am fortunate to be the first in my family to earn a college degree.” Kurowski’s love of learning only grew from there.
“When I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always, ‘A teacher,’” she said.Kurowski has been with Tri-C for 31 years. Since 1986, she has been aiding students in their pursuit of learning. This month, she will be retiring from her work at Tri-C. It all started in 1986. Kurowski had just taken time off work to help raise a family. She had been a middle school English teacher in the past and wanted to get back into the world of teaching. She began working at Tri-C as a part-time English tutor.
In two short years, she was promoted to Part-Time Supervisory Clerical Assistant. Through hard work and a genuine love for learning and teaching, she earned a full-time job and became Director of Developmental Education and Learning Services. She’s been director since 2008 and has loved every second of it.
“She always put the needs of students in front of her own,” said coworker Johnathan Tarnai. “It takes a special person to do that for 31 years!” Even after she was promoted to supervisor and director, Kurowski kept the students as her number-one priority. Instead of getting complacent, she strived to serve.
“Tri-C has enabled me not only to serve and support students but also to develop professionally,” she said. “Once I started here, I wanted to stay…Working with students, faculty, and staff at Tri-C has been my privilege.”
This woman’s one goal in life seems to be helping others. Many of us see Tri-C as a stepping stone, simply a red light on our road to a higher education. Not Sally Kurowski. “Education empowers each one of us,” she said. “Tri-C is quite literally ‘Where futures begin®’ and where, I believe, futures grow.”
Where we saw a stop light, she saw a rest stop. Then a restaurant. And finally, a hotel where every worker gave you a genuine smile and made sure your needs were taken care of. When questioned about any possible regrets about her time at Tri-C, she simply said, “I don’t have any regrets…I am able to serve students, and in turn, the faculty and staff who also serve students every day.”
“Her commitment to providing quality services to students, staff, and faculty is evident in all she does,” said another coworker, Shumuire Spivey. “While I will miss working with Sally, I am so happy that she is able to begin a new journey in life.“
Kurowski plans to spend time with her husband, three children, and seven grandchildren.
Her parting words: “If I could give only one word, it would be ‘Listen.’”