West Hills College District board honors longtime trustee and pair of venerable faculty members

From West Hills College
Edna Ivans
Edna Ivans

Longtime West Hills College figures Edna Ivans and Don and Mary Forth were honored for their decades of service to the West Hills Community College District at February 18’s meeting of the WHCCD’s Board of Trustees.

The college’s trustees named the venerable Ivans as a trustee emeritus in honor of her 48 years of service on the WHCCD Board of Trustees. She is the college’s first such recipient in the history of the district. The honor was marked with a photo of Ivans, placed on the new administration building’s trustee wall.

“Edna Ivans is as much a part of West Hills today as she was during her remarkable tenure as a trustee,” said Dr. Stuart Van Horn, Chancellor of the West Hills Community College District. “Her photograph will be a constant reminder to everyone of her commitment to student success, student equity, and incredible support to our district, college programs, and our students. She served Trustee Area 3, which includes Avenal, Stratford, and Kettleman City, but was a constant presence throughout our district, often attending college and community events. She was recognized throughout our district as a tireless advocate for educational attainment, social mobility, and inspired so many students as a trustee.”

Don and Mary Forth were honored with the title of faculty emeriti. They have spent more than 50 years dedicated to education. The Forths came to West Hills College Coalinga in 1968 when it was still called Coalinga College, where both started teaching. They spent the next decades volunteering, teaching and serving as campus leaders. They also endowed a scholarship, $500 per year in perpetuity.

Longtime West Hills College faculty members Don and Mary Forth.
Longtime West Hills College faculty members Don and Mary Forth.

Don also served on the West Hills Community College Foundation Board and on the WHCC Athletic Hall of Fame committee.

“As many of us know, the magic created inside our classrooms is our secret sauce in education,” said Van Horn. “Faculty are the backbone of our institutions and shepherd our students through the teaching and learning process. Don and Mary Forth are the all-time team captains of our faculty ranks. These two have combined to touch more student lives than any in my memory, having served our district so well for so many years. They have pushed, prodded, nurtured, mentored, and motivated our students. They have celebrated their successes, assured them that failures can be overcome, and served as points of inspiration along each student’s educational journey. Many of our students are better people today based on their engagement with Don and Mary. And that’s about as good as it gets in the education business.”

Their photos will be added to a faculty emeritus wall of honor in the new district office building in the coming months.


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