Adult education teacher wins state honor

By Jackie Runion

The Marietta Times

jrunion@mariettatimes.com

A Washington State Community College faculty member received the 2014 Sharon Davis-Stubbe Award for State of Teacher of the Year, an award given to an adult education instructor by the Ohio Association for Adult and Continuing Education.

Julie Stoffel, a Marietta resident and the lead instructor of Washington County Adult Basic Literacy Education located at WSCC, won the award after serving in the program for 10 years.

Stoffel attributes her success to the strength of the program and its students.

“I was surprised and really proud of that acknowledgment, especially for a program of our size,” she said. “We’re one of the smaller ones in Ohio, and that’s not just an award for ABLE programs, because there’s a lot of programs for adult education.”

The awards, which were announced in late April by OACCE, are given to a teacher, coordinator, administrator and support staff member of programs throughout the state of Ohio that focus on adult education.

“In another way, I wasn’t surprised because I’m proud of our students, and we have an excellent program, too,” Stoffel said.

ABLE, which is based on WSCC campus but with funding based in Zanesville, operates three programs to help bridge adults and those continuing their education into college.

Stoffel helps direct and teach the three programs under the federal ABLE program, including ACES, a math program used to boost student test scores, the county’s GED program and the English Speakers of Other Languages program.

“We’ve worked together for about four years to make some attempts to combine college ready classes and first year experience courses with math and basic instruction to give students an edge,” said David Scheimann, director of retention, completion and Center of Student Success, who nominated Stoffel for the award. “We work with students who are often unprepared and she’s so willing to work and interact with us.”

Scheimann said as Stoffel has helped strengthen and expand the ABLE programs locally, he looks forward to her continuing work.

“It’s been such a great relationship and we’re looking forward to expanding that and continuing in the future,” he said.

Stoffel was in the first class of Post Secondary Option students to enroll at WSCC, eventually obtaining her associate’s degree there before going on to receive her bachelor of arts and education at West Virginia University Parkersburg.

Stoffel went on to teach in the public school system in 1999, and came to the ABLE program in 2004.

“The biggest change is that there’s a switch in the responsibility,” she said. “Our (adult) students don’t come because they’re made to come, they come because they want to continue their education, so they’re easier to motivate than kids can be.”

For now, Stoffel said her plans are to just continue to help educate adults, as ABLE has begun offering single subject courses, with a new session of classes beginning in late May.