classified retreat attendeesThe Districtwide Classified Staff Professional Development Retreat was held on June 2, 2016 at the beautiful Thomas Fogarty Winery Conference Center, with a theme of “Tag, You’re It!”  The goal was understanding our work roles, our personal value, and our impact on our campus communities.  Recently, the Districtwide Classified Staff Professional Development Retreat was reimagined as a one-day retreat with the goal of bringing together Classified Staff Districtwide for a day of learning, growing, and getting to know our colleagues from other campuses and the District Office.

The District Classified Staff Professional Development Retreat Committee was made up of Classified Senate Leadership from Skyline College and Cañada College, and staff leaders from CSM and the District Office.   Many hours of diligent work went in to making sure that the event hosted engaging professional development sessions, while reflecting the essence of a retreat outside of our respective daily work areas.

Our day started off with the keynote speaker, one of Skyline College’s own, Biology Professor Shari Bookstaff.  Professor Bookstaff shared her story of survival and determination after surviving a major brain injury.  She motivated attendees to work hard to achieve their goals no matter what obstacles may be in the way, and shared her wisdom about unexpected, life-altering bumps in the road.

After lunch, attendees were split up into three rotating groups made-up of individuals from all over SMCCCD.  Former Skyline College students Sonya Pope and Leo Rosales shared first-hand experiences of what the support from classified professionals meant to them as students, and how that support directly benefited their families and their futures.

Susie Lunardi from the San Mateo Athletic Club presented a workshop on Office Wellness, teaching us all techniques not only for stretching and breathing while at our desks, but also managing stress and relieving anxiety in our everyday situations.

Finally, Misha Maggi, Student Life and Leadership Manager at Canada College, presented the “True Colors” workshop, utilizing a research-based approach to understanding human behavior and motivation.  Staff discovered their own colors and learned about tools to recognize their own unique strengths, needs, and causes for frustration while gaining a better understanding in improving collaboration and increasing productivity working as teams.  This awesome day was wrapped up with an hors d’oeuvres mixer and live entertainment by the Blue Flamingo Quartet before heading back for the evening.

The committee is thankful for the great attendance and the success of the event in bringing a sense of comradery amongst the campuses and District Office staff.  Our thanks especially go to the Leadership and Administration of SMCCCD and our respective campus Presidents and supervisors for their support.

Article submitted by the District Classified Staff Professional Development Retreat Committee: Roxanne Brewer (District Office), Juanita Celaya (KCSM), Michele Haggar (Skyline), Fauzi Hamadeh (CSM), Maria Huning (Cañada), Debbie Joy (Cañada), Annette Perot (District/ITS), Jo’an Rosario Tanaka (Cañada), Jeanne Stalker (Cañada), and Alana Utsumi (Skyline)