By Rebecca Reichlin
Special to the Turnagain Times
Four Valleys Community School (FVCS) announces the retirement of our long time Executive Director Julie Jonas and the hiring of Catherine McDermott as the incoming Executive Director. The FVCS Board invites you to stop by the FVCS office just inside Girdwood School on Tuesday, May 8th from 3–5 p.m. for a reception honoring Julie and welcoming Catherine.
Julie’s involvement with FVCS began in 1990 when she started taking classes and soon was bringing her boys to classes. For three years she served on the FVCS Board as its Enrichment Chair. Julie helped us begin the Recycling Program at Girdwood School. She assisted with writing a grant that provided a service learning opportunity for Girdwood students to build the Recycling Storage Shed.
Also, Julie helped us to transition FVCS to an independent 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. In August 2005 Julie began working as co-coordinator with Rebecca Reichlin. Since August 2006 to the present she served as the Director with a two to three person part time staff. Julie’s skills have guided FVCS to meet our overall goals.
In addition, Julie has been responsible for running the day to day program consisting of over 200 classes and events each year. It is through her determination and grant writing skills that FVCS now has an up to date online registration system and new office technology to support it. Her last day at FVCS is May 18.
Catherine McDermott is eagerly (bravely) stepping into Executive Director Position and is coordinating the Summer Program. Since 2008 Catherine has worked at FVCS as a part time assistant coordinator. Prior to that, she worked at Alaska Wildland Adventures for 17 years as a Trip Leader, Program Director and Program Development Director. Catherine has administrative skills and experience in project management, personnel development and customer service.
Over the years she has helped build the educational and recreational programs offered by FVCS. Her knowledge base as a FVCS employee and program user will help her to continue the growth of the organization.
The Four Valleys Community School Board thanks Julie for her many years of dedication and wishes her success in her next future endeavors. Welcome Catherine!