NAVAJO COUNTY — The Navajo County Community College District Governing Board recently honored Joan Valichnac with an award of Emeritus faculty status in recognition of her 33 years of service to Northland Pioneer College (NPC). Valichnac will retire Feb. 1, 2020, after serving the college adeptly in numerous academic and technological leadership roles. She began working part-time at NPC in January of 1986 and was hired full-time two years later. Valichnac has served under 10 of the 12 presidents in NPC history, and her career has been filled with many noteworthy contributions to higher education.
A member of the College and Career Preparation faculty at NPC, Valichnac has taught multiple subjects, written grant applications, and mentored faculty. She is currently conducting a review of the curriculum in the Nursing Assistant (CNA) program to help create an NPC program designed to assist students in simultaneously earning their high school equivalency diploma while they are learning CNA job skills. She has served as a board member of the Arizona Association of Lifelong Learning as well as served on the Arizona State Educational Technology Task Force for Adult Basic Education where she created Teaching Standards for Technology use in classrooms. Valichnac also served on the Arizona State Adult Basic Education Task Force for Reading and Language Arts Standards, among other significant contributions.
Reflecting on her distinguished career as one of the longest-tenured faculty members in NPC history, Valichnac said, “I’m proud to have helped students get started toward their careers as nurses, accountants, teachers, and more. As instructors, we want what’s best for the students, and we help them reach their expectations. NPC has been there for me and will be there for our students. When you get an education at NPC, you can’t close the book on it because it becomes a part of everything you ever do. I can retire sure in the knowledge that NPC has very dedicated and excellent instructors; students will always be well supported as they reach for their educational goals.”