PENDLETON, SC – Joan Kalley, English instructor at Tri-County Technical College, was honored May 8 with the highest award presented to the faculty. She received the Presidential Medallion for Instructional Excellence at the College’s spring commencement.
Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, president, presented the medallion to the Pendleton resident. The medallion is presented each year to the instructor who has contributed the most during the academic year to the profession of teaching, to the development of the College and to the students.
A veteran educator, Kalley joined the College in August of 2004 with experience teaching high school and college English. She taught at Clemson University from 1998 – 2004, and prior to that she taught at Richmond Community College (Rockingham, NC) for seven years. She began her career at D.W. Daniel High School where she taught from 1979 – 91.
“Without a doubt, Joan exemplifies everything that the Presidential Medallion represents: excellence in instruction, involvement at the College, student focus and respect of peers,” Tri-County English Department Head Robin McFall said in her written nomination. “She truly cares about her students as individuals and wants to make a difference both in and out of the classroom.”
McFall praised Kalley’s reputation for always being prepared and focusing on creative teaching strategies. “Joan is an excellent instructor. She thoroughly prepares for all of her classes and does not simply rely on notes or tests from previous semesters. In both her face-to-face classes and her online classes, she is always working to update materials and pull in examples for her current students. She constantly reviews the materials to make sure that she is meeting the needs of her students.”
McFall said Kalley has become the “go-to person” in the English department, as well as across academic disciplines, for questions on online classes. “She knows that online students have different needs and she is truly interested in meeting those needs and helping the students learn the material through lecture and active learning strategies,” said McFall. She noted that Kalley often reaches out to work face to face with online students who are struggling with coursework and online formats. In addition, this year she volunteered to serve on a project charter investigating the College’s online strategy.
For several years, Kalley has been involved in the orientation and advising processes for new students, volunteering to serve as an advisor in the student intake process and was cross-trained to work with students in all majors. She also spearheaded an effort with Tri-County librarians and other members of the English department to develop a new information literacy workshop for the 200-level classes to help the students incorporate these skills more effectively in their research papers.
McFall pointed out that Kalley has earned the respect of fellow employees as evidenced by her recommendation to serve as the interim English department head for the fall 2013 semester. “Joan stepped right into the position. She kept the department focused and organized, working with the full-time instructors to develop a student success plan. Her work ethic has been and continues to be an excellent model for both full-time and adjunct instructors. However, she is humble about what she does. While she richly deserves the accolades she receives, she does not like to take credit for anything. When members of the department praise her for her input and her leadership, she shrugs off the praise, stating that she has not done anything special,” said McFall.
“She truly cares about students and their experiences at Tri-County,” said McFall.
Kalley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Winthrop University and completed extended graduate study at Clemson. She and her husband, Bruce, reside in Pendleton. They have two adult children, Stacey and Jason, and two grandchildren.