Teacher Spotlight: WSCC’s Marcie McCloskey, retiring after 41 years. 

June 23, 2021

Teacher Spotlight: WSCC’s Marcie McCloskey, retiring after 41 years. 

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, staff writer.

Teacher Spotlight is a presentation of Shelby State Bank, with offices in Ludington, Pentwater, Shelby, Hart, Hesperia, Manistee, Montague, Whitehall, North Muskegon, and Fruitport. 

VICTORY TWP – Not many people who work for a community college can say that they have worked there for 41 years, in the small position, for five different college presidents. That’s not the case for Marcie McCloskey. 

McCloskey works for West Shore Community College and is retiring after working there for over 40 years.

“I started on March 24, 1980, as a bookkeeper/cashier in the business office and have held this same position the entire time,” McCloskey said. “When the college advertised this position, it caught my attention and I decided to apply thinking it could be an exciting opportunity for me. Also, I have the honor of stating, I have worked for all five of the presidents.”

McCloskey, a Mason County native wasn’t totally sure of what she was going to do after she graduated from high school, but one of her teachers helped guide her towards the career she ended up having her entire working life.

“I have lived in Mason County my entire life and graduated from Mason County Central High School,” McCloskey said. “Mrs. Marie Weaver, my business teacher, had a great influence on me and urged me to enter into the co-op program the high school was offering. As apart of the co-op, I went to high school for a half-day, then worked the remaining half-day at State Savings Bank of Scottville. The president of the bank at that time, Mr. Bruce Draper, offered me a full-time position after graduation, which I accepted. So, I graduated high school on a Friday night and started my first full-time position at the bank the following Monday morning. I worked there for six years, starting in the bookkeeping department, then became a teller and then advanced to a loan teller.”

With the experience McCloskey gained at the bank, she then found herself looking at a help wanted ad one day for WSCC and she decided to take a chance and she applied and was offered the job, which she is now retiring from 41 years later.

Although McCloskey was not a teacher at WSCC, she played an important role for the college and for the students who were taking classes at the college.

“Working in the business office, part of my responsibilities, over the years, has been reviewing and reconciling each student’s account that has registered for course(s) at the college,” she said. “This includes reviewing whether the student’s tuition, fees, and books are paid for out of pocket, by federal financial aid, by scholarships or are the charges covered by other funding sources such as, local or state programs. The various charges come with many questions by not only the students, but in many cases their parents too.

“The position for me has been both rewarding and sometimes very difficult. For many of our students, it’s their first time dealing with the higher education system, so helping them navigate through the various processes, while meeting the guidelines and deadlines of the Department of Education, the processes of the college’s admissions and meeting all of our deadlines, can be very overwhelming for our first-time students. Helping the students get through all of the various processes has always been extremely important to me. I feel being the best advocate for the college and helping the students through all of the various processes, if they are having difficulty, is extremely important to me.”

Because she wore so many different hats under her job description, McCloskey stated that her position has not only been rewarding in many ways, but it has given her a lot of opportunities to build relationships with many people across the campus, whether with staff, visitors or students.

“I don’t think other places of employment could offer the diversity or the variety of all the different opportunities and programs that the college can offer,” she said.  

“From the one-on-one with the students, to all the various performing arts and cultural events, the recreation facility, including the ice arena, makes us very different. For the student who has just graduated from high school, but is not ready to attend a larger university, it is the college’s role to prepare them for that next step. For the non-traditional students who have decided to refresh their skills to help them with their current job or get that degree they always wanted, the college supports all of these different opportunities. The college has had various concerts bringing in popular entertainers. Our plays have highlighted the extraordinary local talent in our community. From the artwork the college displays from the high school students to the various speakers brought in to teach and inform us of what is or has been going on in the world around us, from the Holocaust to human trafficking, West Shore Community College offers so much to our community.”

McCloskey stated that she has been so happy to have worked at WSCC and to be able to partake in all the college has to offer, but she also stated that she has been very fortunate to have worked with so many wonderful people throughout the years as well.

“I feel I am only a small part of WSCC,” she said. “Every employee, both faculty and staff, supports not only each other, but also our students and our community. I have worked with such amazing co-workers over the years, and each and every one of them has made the college what it is today. My time at West Shore Community College has truly been an honor for me.”

As for retirement, McCloskey might be just as busy or busier than she was when she was working.

“I look forward to much more family time, with my children, grandchildren, siblings and my friends who have already retired,” she said. “Being a farmgirl, I look forward to devoting more time to digging in the dirt to sprucing up my flowerbeds. I serve on the MCC Educational Foundation Board and will continue to volunteer my time there. Most of all, I look forward to not getting up so early in the morning; even though my internal clock may say otherwise, at least I know I don’t have to rush and get to work.”

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