GRCC retiree biography: Penny Folsom

Penny is retiring from GRCC at the beginning of July. We had asked her a few questions about her experience here at GRCC and here is what she had to say:

“I graduated with my Associate degree (Child Development) from GRCC in May of 1992. I was hired that fall for the preschool. I have worked at the Early Childhood Learning Lab for 26 years. I have both my Bachelor and Master degree in Early Childhood from WMU. During my years I have had an opportunity to work in each of the classrooms, from the infant room to the oldest classroom.

“I have always been passionate about connecting children and their families to the natural world. To this day children demonstrate their excitement for when they find “bugs” and other nature related items. Parents often share with me “new” things they have discovered as well. It brings me joy to know I have touched so many lives and have sparked their passion for learning about and protecting our world.

“Mentoring the college students in our program has provided me many opportunities to feel like I belong to GRCC. Watching them progress through the program, seeing them graduate, and then watching as they work in the field for which I helped train them brings great joy. Many come back to say “thank you” and to let me know they continue to build their confidence and professional skills because of the great start I have provided.

“I am excited to be able to spend long hours engaging with nature, whether gardening, birdwatching, hiking, or sharing my “traveling nature center” with others ( I will be sharing my love of nature with those who visit FMG Children’s Garden this summer, hosting six of the Science Sunday presentations.

“GRCC has been my home for over 30 years. I have enjoyed my many college “family” connections. I will miss them.”

We wish you all the best in your retirement, Penny. Please stay in touch! Thank you for all that you did for GRCC, the ECLL families, and our students; you’ve made an amazing difference in the lives of many.

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