Preparing teachers for early childhood education is very important to Carolyn Bush, but at 71, she is moving on to other goals as she retires this month from Hazard Community and Technical College.
Mrs. Bush joined the HCTC full-time faculty in August 2002 to teach classes for the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Program (IECE). In 2007, she took on a leadership position as Occupational Technologies Division Chair and beginning in 2011 as Division Chair for Computer and Online Technologies. “I have enjoyed working with students, encouraging them, and seeing their joy when they achieve their goal. I also enjoy working with the faculty and staff here. I appreciate that everyone is so helpful,” she said.
During her time at HCTC, Mrs. Bush was the Program Coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Program and worked on several different campuses. She saw the classes as they went from being all in person, to hybrid, to interactive television, and now currently all online. “Students really like the convenience of not having to travel to campus for class,” she noted.
Her teaching was enhanced by real world experience with the LKLP Head Start Program, where she served as Preschool Specialist and Lead Teacher for more than 10 years.
Students appreciated Mrs. Bush. One student wrote, “I loved the classes; I can’t wait to be a teacher after taking Mrs. Bush’s classes.” Another stated, “This was a wonderful class and the teacher made it more enjoyable.” Yet another gave this compliment: “It was a joy to be in this class.”
Dr. Kathy Smoot, HCTC Provost, remembers interviewing and hiring Carolyn in 2002. “At that time, one of her biggest concerns was learning how to use the computer and all the software available; however, she caught on quickly, and when needs began to change became one of our first faculty members to start teaching her classes fully online. Mrs. Bush is highly respected as both a faculty member and academic leader, and we will miss her tremendously!”
Dr. Ella Strong, Dean of Distance Learning, has the utmost praise for Carolyn Bush and her contributions. “I really appreciate Carolyn and working with her at various levels; her support as division chair to me and to the division members has been tremendous. Her concern for students has been wonderful,” she said.
Mrs. Bush holds a master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a bachelor’s degree from Alice Lloyd College.
She was instrumental in starting a local chapter of the Kentucky Association of Early Childhood Education (KAECE) in January 2005 and the organization has been going strong ever since; she is a board member of the state organization. Her other affiliations include the National Association for Education of Young Children, Southern Early Childhood Association, and Preschool Interagency Planning Committee.
Mrs. Bush lives at Grapevine in Perry County with her husband, Johnny Ray Bush. The couple’s children are Johnny Ray Bush II, William Saul Bush, Jackie Sue Bush, Ricky Campbell, Timothy Campbell, Michael Campbell, and Shannon Campbell. They have 16 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
In her retirement, Carolyn looks forward to traveling, reading, and having time to rest.