End of Year CelebrationOn Thursday, May 19, the Academic Senate and Classified Senate combined forces to host another fun and exciting End-of-Year Celebration. The theme “Tiki Time” was hosted by faculty member, Amber Steele, and the fun and enthusiastic Classified Senate President and Transfer Center Program Services Coordinator, Michele Haggar. The event featured two traditional dance performances, in an effort to create a calming and relaxing event where faculty and staff have the opportunity to get-together for lunch, celebrate the end of the year, and recognize the efforts of our fellow colleagues.

To kick off the event, Amber Steele’s students performed a traditional Tahitian dance choreographed by Shannen Vergara, which highlighted and brought awareness to the Tahitian culture. Following this beautiful performance, our guest speaker Buz Deadwax, invited by Amber Steele, provided a historical presentation about Tiki culture, which added to our experience of Tiki Time. Later, Anjelica Gacutan, Student Life and Leadership Assistant and Guest Artist, and Kalani Viloria, a Skyline College Student, choreographed Amber Steel’s students to perform a dance piece named after the song, “Ka Uluwehi o Ke Kai”. This graceful dance performance symbolized the beautiful and moving process of selecting our life long partners using seaweed as the metaphor. And throughout the event, Jose Bonilla, Head Athletic Trainer, lent his talents by playing the Ukulele, which was a wonderful touch to our event.

The celebration also featured a drawing for generous basket donations provided to us by various divisions, programs, and departments on campus! The proceeds, totaling over $700 dollars will be going toward scholarships for Skyline College students. And as part of an incentive to encourage basket donations, a contest was held to see who would win the “Best Basket” by cheer vote from the attendees. The lucky winner was the Administrative Offices who provided a basket full of gift cards to various businesses and they will be receiving a complimentary continental breakfast generously donated to us by Kevin Chak, Skyline College bookstore manager.

In addition to the cultural arts presented and performed, this was a time for us to recognize, say thanks, and congratulate our Classified Staff Retirees Linda Herda, Mannie Peix, and Cass Christian. The Special Recognitions Award was presented to Vinesh “Vinnie” Samujh, our facilities staff member, by his supervisor, John Doctor and to Ellen Lee, our Payroll Technician, by her supervisor Eloisa Briones. These two individuals were presented this award in recognition of their hard work and dedication within their respective positions.

Nathan Jones, English Instructor and our ASTEP Coordinator, was awarded the Meyer Excellence Teaching Award from the Academic Senate. This award recognizes the contributions of a faculty member in their first five years of hiring who demonstrate excellence in teaching, on/ off campus activities, and overall collegiality. Faculty retirees Lauri Biagi from Cosmetology, Michael Moynhihan from Sociology, and Garry Nichols from English were also honored. Additionally it was announced that Garry would serve as the Faculty Marshall for Commencement. And last, but certainly not least, the Academic Senate adopted by acclamation thanking our much loved Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Sarah Perkins for her outstanding service in honor of her retirement.

With that said, the organizational team would like to thank Theresa Tentes for arranging the catering for the event, the Academic Senate and Classified Senate for their donation toward the materials for the event, Annie Trinh and Linda Bertellotti for scheduling the rooms, to facilities for room setup/ cleanup, and to Pacific Dining for our lunch. And an extra special thanks to Skyline College students Shanté Wong and Christabelle Pabalan for serving as our “Mock-bartenders”.

Overall the event was well attended and we look forward to hosting our next End of Year Celebration in Spring 2017.

Article by Michele Haggar | Photos by Amber Steele