Open Forum on Sept. 15

Centralia College will be hosting a community forum to discuss a proposed associate degree for adults living with cognitive disabilities at 5 p.m. Sept. 15 ain the Hanson Administration Building on the college campus.

The college is seeking input from prospective students, families, service providers, and businesses who are interested in supporting potential internships for this population.

“We really want input from the public to make sure we are offering the best program for our community,” said program manager Nancy Keaton.

The degree would focus on occupational and life skills that lead to successful employment.

”We know this population is very capable of attaining a college degree, they simply need the information presented in a different manner,” Keaton said.

For more information, contact program manager Nancy Keaton at 360-736-9391 ext. 465, or by email at

CC East Open House Sept. 9

CCEast_IMG_3642Centralia College East Open House

5:30-7:30 p.m

Wednesday, Sept. 9

701 Airport Way, Morton

Get the inside scoop on Centralia College East

  • Degrees and programs
  • Job training
  • Financial aid and scholarships
  • Admissions and registration
  • “Just for fun” classes

Free pizza and door prizes!

Enter to win a $100 textbook voucher, scholarships for community education classes, and t-shirts.

Questions? Call 360-736-9391, ext. 380, or 496-5022 for more information.

CC Foundation exceeds annual goals

IMG_5398The Centralia College Foundation wrapped up another record-setting year, beating both its 2014-15 fundraising and scholarship goals.

The 2014-15 Annual Campaign raised more than $554,000 to support student scholarships, faculty and staff awards, educational expenses, and college projects.

In addition, more than $746,700 in scholarships, tuition waivers, grants, and financial aid will be formally awarded to 242 Centralia College students at Scholarship Night at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 in the Corbet Theatre on the college campus. This is an increase of more than $5,000 from 2013-14, which was another record-setting year.

“We are thrilled at the level of participation we receive from the community for students at Centralia College,” said Centralia College Foundation President Lee Stevens. “The amount of support we receive reflects the importance of education in Lewis County. We are pleased to be the catalyst in making education possible for hundreds of students every year.”

Stevens added that 100 percent of donations to the Centralia College Foundation can be designated by the donor.

For more information on investing in education, contact the Centralia College Foundation office at 360-736-9391, ext. 290 or

Free preschool now enrolling

clocktower2Centralia College’s preschool classes, including two new programs in Winlock and Onalaska, are now enrolling for fall classes.

Centralia College provides free preschool classes for children ages 3 and 4 years old (as of Aug. 31) for eligible families through the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. Classes start in September.

Preschool classes are offered in:

  • Winlock (new for fall 2015)
  • Onalaska (new for fall 2015)
  • Pe Ell
  • Boistfort
  • Centralia
  • Chehalis

“We’re so proud to be able to expand our program and offer preschool classes in Winlock and Onalaska,” said Teresa Schneider, Centralia College’s preschool program manager. “We’re excited to meet these new families and provide high-quality preschool education for these children.”

Centralia College’s preschool classes are provided for free to eligible families.

For information or to make an appointment, call 360-736-9391, ext. 460 (English language) or 360-736-9391, ext. 693 (Spanish language).

Elk Hunt Raffle winner announced

11838872_964860063534649_7648770695169246519_oThe Centralia College Foundation has announced Steve Henson is the winner of the 2015 Dave Sherwood Memorial Elk Hunt Raffle.

Henson, who lives in Chehalis, is a retired employee of the TransAlta Centralia Generation plant. He won the opportunity to hunt on TransAlta land for a single bull elk, three-point minimum, during the upcoming modern rifle hunting season.

Henson’s winning ticket was drawn Aug. 3 at the Centralia College Foundation office. A total of 354 tickets were sold garnering $8,850. The proceeds will be split between a 2015-16 scholarship and the Dave Sherwood Endowment.

Rob Sherwood, Dave’s brother, was present at the drawing.

“I am grateful so many students will benefit from the proceeds in Dave’s memory,” he said.

The Dave Sherwood Memorial Elk Hunt Raffle began five years ago shortly after TransAlta employee Dave Sherwood died while hunting elk in east Lewis County.

“TransAlta wanted to do something to remember Dave and his love for hunting. They offered an annual Elk Hunt Raffle to the Centralia College Foundation with the proceeds going to a scholarship in Dave’s name,” said Julie Johnson, director of alumni and donor relations for the Centralia College Foundation. “The raffles have been so successful, we’ve been able to establish a Dave Sherwood Endowment to create a sustainable source of scholarships for the college in Dave’s memory.“

For more information on the Centralia College Foundation, visit or call 360-736-9391, ext. 290.

Music program gains new professor

Beth May 8.19.15After spending the past 13 years in either the extreme heat of Texas or the extreme cold of upstate New York, new music professor Dr. Beth May says one reason she was drawn to Centralia was because she liked the weather. “I have always been partial to rainy weather. The thought of four relatively temperate seasons was very appealing.”

Dr. May was also impressed with the rich history of Centralia College and the overall feeling of community and student-centeredness. Visiting campus during her interview, she observed that the faculty and staff she met all seemed happy to be here, and “there was a buzz of excitement about learning.”

In her new role, she will be teaching a variety of music courses, recruiting new students to the music program, and growing and diversifying our music offerings. She is looking forward to working collaboratively with her colleagues and getting to know her students.

“It will be really interesting to learn what Centralia College students’ interests are and to help build the music program up—to offer them things that will support them in their endeavors.”

With many successful endeavors of her own—including serving in the United States Peace Corps in Namibia, managing several coffee shops, operating a Pilates Studio, and teaching music for over a decade—Dr. May has much to offer her students.

She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received her Bachelors of Music in theory/composition in 1996. Following that, she earned her Masters of Music from Yale University in 1998 and her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.

She was instrumental in founding the music program at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio. While there, she also started the Jack Stone Award for New Music, a national competition for community college student composers that was awarded last year for the sixth time annually.

Actively involved in community organizations, Dr. May served as volunteer Director of Outreach for Stand Up for Kids – San Antonio. During the past year, in addition to owning a small business, she served on the board of the Society for New Music.

An avid reader, Dr. May enjoys hiking and doing Pilates, knitting, and cooking vegetarian meals. She and her husband have a dog and three cats.

Caring community draws new director

Elizabeth Grant 8.18.15“Community college is where my heart is.”

Elizabeth Grant, Centralia College’s new director of counseling, advising, and disability services, said she was looking for a small, close-knit community to call home where she could devote her time, talents, and energies.

When she visited Centralia College in the spring, she “fell in love.”

“I was impressed by the caliber of student projects displayed in the science building and with the friendliness of people I met on campus. It was obvious to me that the people that work and attend classes at Centralia care about the college and about each other.”

Grant is looking forward to being part of the great work of Centralia College and to collaborating with colleagues to continually improve student success.

“The Director of Counseling, Advising, and Disability Services is a new position, and with the challenges of creating something new also come fantastic opportunities. I am excited to hear ideas from the campus community and to brainstorm ways to keep Centralia at the forefront of progressive strategies to serve students.”

Grant earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in pastoral counseling, and is presently in the dissertation phase of her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in higher education leadership. She has had a private practice and been a director in clinical settings.

In addition, Grant comes to Centralia with experience both as a researcher and academic program director. Most recently, she did research with the University of Maryland’s Institute for Governmental Service and Research on projects involving statewide substance abuse initiatives and Maryland problem-solving courts. Prior to that, she was an academic program director at a small community college in Western Maryland for over ten years.

“The contrast between the two positions really clarified for me that community college is where my heart is,” she shared.

A Maryland native, Grant and her husband have three grown children and three grandchildren with another on the way. She enjoys cooking and baking and considers herself a thrift-store junkie.  She also loves to garden and is looking forward to being able to get a patch next spring.