Susan Baxter Retires After Two Decades

Viking Spotlight wp wp admin post new.php post type=spotlight

[Clinton, N.C.] – The new year continues to bring about retirements for the faculty and staff of Sampson Community College (SCC), including Dr. Susan Baxter, Division Chair of Education, Business, and Human Services Technologies. Retiring in January, Baxter has served the students of SCC since 1997, transitioning to full-time in 2000.  

Before taking her current position at SCC, Baxter worked in childcare and public/private K-12 education—teaching all grades except for 6th. She double majored in Early Childhood and Elementary Education in 1990, graduated with her masters in Elementary Education in 1995, and most recently obtained her Doctorate of Higher Educational Leadership in 2017.

Baxter explained that she began working at SCC as a part-time instructor with High School Equivalency and English Language Learners programs. Voicing that she “enjoyed her work,” Baxter quickly applied for a full-time position once it became available, remarking that the “rest was history.”

“I have taught many students over the years, and they are what kept me there and made the work so worthwhile,” Baxter expressed. “The students have changed over the years, from displaced workers to high school students, and now busy working adults who prefer the flexibility of online learning.  All have been a pleasure and the changing demographics have kept the work from getting routine. We need all of them to become strong educators and make a difference in the lives of children.”

In addition to her work as both Division Chair and instructor, Baxter mentioned that she’s also been fortunate to work on several state-wide projects pertaining to education, focusing on building a stronger, better equipped teacher pipeline.

She led multiple initiatives including: obtaining state-wide articulation agreements with the UNC system & NCICUs for the Early Childhood program; developing two transferable Teacher Preparation degrees for students, including highschoolers; and creating the Residency Licensure Certificate Program, which assists lateral entry teachers in securing an Elementary Education license.

“These are the things that will build a stronger, healthier teacher pipeline for Sampson County,” Baxter elaborated. “…and all counties throughout our great state. They will positively impact the lives of many of our youngest residents. When you teach, you become part of other people’s education and career goals and journey. It doesn’t get any more worthwhile than that!”

Baxter pictured in 2021 upon being named as the EXCEL award winner for faculty—recognized by her colleagues for going “above and beyond” in her work at the College

Speaking to her coworkers, Baxter remarked that the Education, Business, and Human Services Division has always been “such a great group to work with” throughout the years. Baxter specifically noted she’s had the privilege of working closely with Sharon West, Administrative Assistant of Education, Business & Human Services Technologies, for the past decade—witnessing the growth of the division together.

West shared, “Susan always said, I am not your boss but your co-worker. That statement resonated in all aspects of her leadership. Although she was “the boss” she treated everyone with respect and always looked out for our best interest. She always found an opportunity to acknowledge and recognize the good work completed by her employees. She was not only a mentor, leader, and an inspiration to us all but also the epitome of what teamwork can accomplish when you have excellent leadership.”

Upon retirement, Baxter looks forward to traveling and spending more time with her husband, whom she thanked for his continuous encouragement, patience, and support of her work. She hopes to stay active within the field of education, while also making more time for reading, volunteer activities, family events, and friends.

“I have been very thankful for kind, positive, and supportive colleagues within the division who made the daily work more joyful,” Baxter closed. “I am also very appreciative of many colleagues and supervisors who mentored and encouraged me during my early years at SCC. The current division is an amazing group who I greatly value and appreciate!”

Sampson CC extends its immense gratitude to Susan for all her years of service. The College is grateful she decided to apply back in 1997 and has truly been blessed by her work ever since. She leaves an impact on both faculty, staff, students, and the institution as a whole. SCC wishes her well in all her future endeavors, and thanks her for aiding in the College’s mission for students to, “Begin Here, Go Anywhere.”

About Sampson Community College:  Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education. SCC is committed to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for all.