Damron accepts position vacated by Courtney

Damron

Damron

From more than 50 applicants, Gary Damron, TRiO academic specialist and adjunct instructor, will be recommended for the social science position at the May 4 Board of Trustees meeting.
If the board approves Damron, he will begin his new position in August.
The social science instructor position opened as a result of Lee Courtney’s retirement. Damron has a lot of experience in the area as well.
“My specialty area is U.S. history. That is why I was glad when this job opened up because it allowed me to get back to my specialty area,” Damron said.
When he was offered the job, he knew that he would accept the offer; he showed no hesitation.
“Cynthia (Rapp, dean of instruction) gave me the weekend to think it over and I told her… I’m ready,” Damron said.
“I have known for a year that when Lee retired I wanted the job,” Damron said. “I’m really excited about it. I have always loved teaching.”
Damron has been teaching courses at the college for four years. He has taught geography, intro to philosophy, intro to ethics, World Civilization I and II, and U.S. History at Seward. He has taught at the collegiate level for 21 years.
“His passion is in the history classes he will be teaching,” said Rapp. “I am confident he will do well.”
The classes will be primarily taught in a lecture format in order to ensure that the students understand the content.
Other methods that Damron uses to help the students learn the content are writing assignments and pretests.
He teaches this way so that his students take ownership in their learning. He also feels that these assignments require students to keep up with his other assignments, such as writing.
“What we get back from students is that he is a really good teacher,” said Dale Doll, English instructor and humanities division chair.
Damron tailors his teaching to the individual classes. The class format is constantly being tweaked.
“I think he has a lot of creative and new ways to do things,” Rhonda Kinser, director of student support services, said.
One reason that Damron feels that he gets along with students so well is that he treats everybody with respect.
Beyond that, he thinks that his background is similar to a lot of his students.
“I was the first person in my family to graduate from college.”
Before Courtney leaves, Damron would like to get some of Courtney’s notes and other materials.
“I would like to keep his brain here,” Damron said. “His breadth and depth of knowledge is quite amazing.”
In addition to Courtney’s classes, Damron will have other requirements next year. These will include committee assignments, advisees and office hours.
Damron will keep his open door policy.
“I am very comfortable with the college, the way things operate, the students, the subject matter,” Damron said. “I have been doing it for years; it’s the same thing every semester. I’m trying to figure out how to get students to learn.”