After 20 years of teaching in Jackson and Hazard, Sue Gillett of Jackson is retiring from Hazard Community and Technical College where she taught math, statistics, and computer science.
HCTC President Dr. Steve Greiner expressed his thanks for her tenure. “We appreciate Sue Gillett’s dedication to helping students succeed and we wish her much happiness in her retirement.”
Students in her classes have praised her saying, “Sue enjoys her job. She breaks down the math in a way that is understandable. She also cares about her student’s progress.” Another student wrote, “The instructor is very knowledgeable of math; she explains the problems in an excellent way. She will take time to answer questions from anyone in the class. If you need to, she will stay after class or meet with you to try and help you. She is very helpful. She is an excellent teacher.”
Mrs. Gillett noted, “I enjoy helping students to learn mathematics, hoping that they are able to see the beauty of its nature, to appreciate its logic and to view it as a language. I like aiding them in seeing how math not only has a practical side but also how it can enhance their career prospects and simplify their daily lives. I try to assist then (or find tools, as needed) in being less nervous or anxious about math, if that is an obstacle for them. Generally, these things have been true of both my teaching and tutoring in/out of the classroom in both math and other subjects. “
Mrs. Gillett has a cherished quotation from her late brother-in-law, Lynn Westfall, who was also an educator. “The purpose of education is to help create a better human being.” Besides serving as a faculty member, Gillett also served HCTC by tutoring in the Academic Resource Center. She noted, “The ultimate goal of a teacher or tutor is usually to help a student become a better learner, to know (s)he can instruct him/herself, to trust me when I say, ‘You can do this’ to ‘You can do better.’ The best reward is when ‘You can…’ changes to ‘I can…’ I enjoy seeing the light of understanding suddenly dawn in the eyes of the student(s).”
Prior to moving to Kentucky, Mrs. Gillett taught in West Virginia and Michigan.
She holds a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from Central Michigan University. She holds 26 post-graduate hours in a doctoral program at Western Michigan University in Mathematics and Computer Science.
She plans to enjoy her retirement by volunteering in Jackson, traveling, and visiting with family as well as possibly tutoring and serving as an adjunct professor. She said she will now have time to attend her “favorite” events more often: classes as a student, Foothill Writers’ group meetings, church services, writers’ workshop and authors’ readings, performing arts at Hazard, dancing classes, walking for exercise, and exploring the local library offerings.