by Neill Kovrig
Good afternoon, all:
As we approach the end of the inaugural series of events for Classified Staff Appreciation Week at Continuing Education, I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts and reflections on the time we’ve spent recognizing the dedication of our Classified Staff. As President of the Classified Senate, I have the distinct pleasure of representing what I think is the most dedicated and hard-working classified constituency in the State – with all due respect to our fellow Classified throughout the District and beyond, the Classified Staff of Continuing Education have done more with less consistently over the course of the past several years. We faced down budget cuts and diminished capacity in our offices, while enrollments – and the amount of work that entails – increased dramatically. We gave 150% to our students, our colleagues, and our communities, and never failed to provide the level of service that our particular populations need. We have met every challenge head-on and with professionalism and remarkably steadfast commitment.
We are about to embark, however, on a new journey – with the recovery of the economy and the State’s renewed commitment to funding the needs of our community colleges, we are about to experience a renaissance of the Classified Staff unlike any we’ve seen in recent memory. It is an exciting time, but what does it mean for the here-and-now? We all know that hiring processes take time, and that the on-boarding of new staff won’t happen overnight. We all will continue to work our hardest to complete everything that needs to be completed for all of the many initiatives that are making their way through our institution – from accreditation to strategic planning to fulfilling shared governance needs to sitting on those very hiring committees that will bring new faces to our ranks and to our faculty and administration. We must power through this last hurdle, to reach the new promise that exists when finally, our ranks are filled out with new people eager to join us in our mission to serve our students and one another, and moreover to welcome them to the unique culture of community that exists among us all.
While it is nice to have a luncheon or two to celebrate the accomplishments we share, and certificates of appreciation adorn office walls and mantelpieces, serving to remind us of people who wish to recognize our achievements, I wanted to take this opportunity to say, directly and simply, thank you. When we come to work each day at our many campuses, we come together and share in things in a way paralleled only by familial bonds. And truly, here – more than anywhere else, I think – we are a family. We have shared a great deal of hardship and joy, and we celebrate each other in our highs and comfort each other in our lows. In the short time that I have been here, I can think of no better place to be than beside each and every one of my fellow Classified Staff in Continuing Education. You are to be lauded for your achievements, and I am proud to represent you in every way, and everywhere, that I can.
Happy Classified Staff Appreciation Week – you are unparalleled in your abilities, and this institution is all the better for having each and every one of you here.
With Deepest Admiration,
Neill K. Kovrig
Student Services Assistant, Educational Cultural Complex President, Classified Senate San Diego Continuing Education