Debbie Schumacher loves being a dental hygienist, and has loved being an instructor at CVTC the past 10 years. Her passion and her excellence have been noticed by both her students and her peers. On Tuesday, April 16, she was honored as the Full-Time Teacher of the Year by the Chippewa Valley Association of Career and Technical Education (CVACTE).
CVACTE also honored Emily Dittner of the Barber/Cosmetology program as New Teacher of the Year and Della Schindler, an assistant in the Safety and Security office, as Support Professional of the Year. Math Instructor Dave Vollmer was honored for 25 years of service to the state technical college system.
“I’ve been a hygienist for 33 years,” said Schumacher, who worked at Eau Claire Family Dental before being hired at CVTC to teach both Dental Hygienist and Dental Assistant classes. “I love being a hygienist, but being able to work with the students is so rewarding.”
Schumacher also loves the fact that she is not alone in her feelings about her job.
“The passion everyone has for their particular role here all comes together for the students,” she said.
Emily Dittner joined CVTC full time in 2008, having worked as a professional stylist previously, with West Side Hair Styles in Eau Claire being her last position.
“I love working with the students, I love the people I work with, and the opportunity to grow with more education.”
Della Schindler is both a CVTC alum and an employee who has been working at CVTC since August 1989.
“I was a work-study student when I started in the bookstore,” she said. She worked there 14 years, then moved on to other positions in the Study Skills Center, at the Chippewa Falls Campus office, the Information Services Center, and finally the Safety and Security office.
“It’s my family away from home,” she said of CVTC.
“I’ve worked here 25 years, but it’s only in the last three years they let me in the building,” jokes Dave Vollmer, who is now a math teacher. He started out as a trainer on the Business & Industry (B & I) team, and his work was out in the field with employees at over 200 companies throughout the 11-county CVTC district.
Vollmer’s college degrees are in mathematics and physics, but at B & I he trained in areas like lean manufacturing, Six-Sigma and quality control.
“My background was in manufacturing, so I brought those skills with me,” he said.
Vollmer will be honored again this month for 20 years of service at CVTC. He served WTCS for 25 years, starting out at North Central Technical College in Wausau.
CVTC President Bruce Barker attended the awards presentation to offer his congratulations.