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February 2014 - Bill Mitchell
Congratulations to William (Bill) Mitchell for being named Santa Rosa Junior College’s (SRJC) Employee of the Month for February 2014. Bill has been with SRJC since 1964, and has dedicated 50 years of service to the college. As an Adjunct College Skills instructor, he is responsible for teaching math courses, offering academic support, and assisting students with subjects such as Accounting, Math, and English at SRJC’s Math Lab.
Mitchell is SRJC’s longest serving employee and ranks at the top of SRJC’s faculty seniority list. In the early 1990’s, Bill originally taught in the Math department and later brought his Basic Math courses to the College Skills department. Since then he has taught arithmetic classes and worked in the College Skills Math Lab, and has helped generations of students master fractions, percentages, negative numbers, areas of irregular polygons, accounting questions, and much more as students move through the Math Pathway.
Bill has said his greatest accomplishment at SRJC was when he was a student who took 18 units a semester and still consistently arrived on time for his workday at 8 a.m. every day, for four semesters. Bill holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Golden Gate College.
Wanda Burzycki, another faculty member of the College Skills Department and Mitchell’s nominator, said “Bill deserves recognition not only for the longevity of his career, but for the love of learning and passion for helping basic skills students that he has demonstrated over all these years. Who else would skip the golf course to work in our Lab on Fridays and Saturdays?”
Mitchell is also described as being ranked at the top of the College Skills department list of “favorites,” largely in part for his charisma, friendly demeanor, wit, and caring attitude. Burzycki explains, “Bill may have missed his calling as a stand-up comedian, but the jokes he shares with students and staff definitely lighten up the studious atmosphere of the College Skills Math Lab. He also has a remarkable and heroic history from his pre-College Skills life that has contributed to his positive attitude and his dedication to teaching.”
Bill enjoys the sport of Golf, studying history, and learning the history of others during his free time. During his own long and historic life’s adventures, he enlisted in the Marine Corp at the age of 17, and fought at Iwo Jima at 18. A gunshot wound led to his discharge at 19.
Bill Mitchell’s contribution to the College Skills department has not only left a positive impact on the department, but also on its students. Mitchell’s combination of knowledge, wisdom, and his welcoming attitude are qualities that have led him to receiving this award. “Bill knows how to make math accessible and even fun. His sense of humor, non-judgmental manner, and caring attitude make students comfortable to ask questions and get explanations. In the department, he shares ‘the wisdom of ages’ —he has seen many changes in the College, but reminds us that the teacher-student relationship is what really matters,” said Wanda Burzycki.When asked what he has enjoyed the most about SRJC, Mitchell responded “The people. I enjoy working with students; [we have] a wide age range of students from 16 to 80 - which is great!’ Upon being notified of his award, Bill Mitchell said he was “amazed” and wanted to thank his beautiful wife of 57 years, Jeanette Mitchell, and his four children: Mark, Maria, Michelle, and Matthew. “SRJC has been a second home to me, and I appreciate the honor!”
Page last revised on: March 4, 2014
Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges