Annual celebration recognizes 2011-12 retirees
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012 15:05
EL CERRITO — Staff, faculty, former teachers and administrators reminisced as 15 recent retirees were honored at the annual Retirement Celebration and Staff Reunion held at the Mira Vista Country Club on Sunday.
The retirees in attendance included nursing professor Sally Brooks, automotive services professor Michael Fernandes, lead mechanic Perry Rossoukhi, campus gardener Michael Gomez, nursing director Maryanne Werner-McCullough, computer network technician Bernadette Green, vice president Carol Maga, Bookstore manager Janis Walsh and senior equipment maintenance worker Marc Mariana.
“(The event) recognizes them as employees at CCC and all of the work they’ve done for the college, primarily their work for students’ success,” Interim Vice President Donna Floyd said.
Academic Senate President Wayne Organ said the college holds the event because they are also a sort of family. Organ used the analogy of people going on a voyage, and how their family would want to see them off.
“Like the retirees, we’d like to see them off. We’re way too close at CCC to say good bye and leave,” he said.
Despite working for five months at the college, Interim President Dan Henry was able to give a pleasant speech while giving tribute to the retirees.
“I didn’t have the privilege of working with them, but I was happy to honor them today and be part of the celebration,” Henry said.
“I think it’s part of a larger view I didn’t get until later in life that celebrating large milestones is important,” he said.
During Henry’s speech, he included a CCC historical fact during the year retiree Marc Mariana was hired, other facts occurring in that same year and a memorable story or characteristic of the retiree.
In his speech for Mariana, who retired last June, Henry joked about Marc’s mistress being the college because he made sure everything was operational even after hours and on weekends.
Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King, who worked with Mariana, agreed.
“Marc was very loyal to the school. I’ve seen that if there was a problem with the college and there was a rainstorm, he’d still come to fix it,” King said.
Since 1967, Mariana has been on campus, first as a student before being hired permanently as a student-worker in 1974.
“I started school when the AA Building was still in construction. I even swam with the first class to be swimming in that pool,” Mariana said. “(Retiring) feels great, all the stress is gone. The people I thought I had differences with, I guess were all in my head and now it’s clear.
“I’m honored to have worked at the college because I was able to do a job that affected a whole (lot) of people. The student body depended on us to make it possible for the buildings to be safe and functional,” he said.
As a member of the Professional Development Committee, with their role to provide activities and venues for continuing staff development, early childhood education professor Barbara Grillo helped with preparation for the event.
“I’m able to contribute in this way by providing a venue,” Grillo said. “It’s a way to encourage them and thank them for what they’ve done.”