Technology’s Taft retires after 25 years
April 16, 2007
After 25 years as an instructor in adult basic education at the Idaho State University College of Technology, Carole Taft is retiring.
Taft was born in England at the beginning of World War II and lived in her family home, located at the end of the runway for an RAF fighter station. After a series of air raids the family was bombed out and began their life following their father, who worked in various engineering positions around the United Kingdom and the world. Taft’s teen years were spent in New Zealand, where her father’s company worked on Auckland’s harbor bridge.
“My parents lived through two world wars and instilled in their children a tolerance and understanding for all people,” Taft said.
Her travels continued with the United States military and her four sons were born in England, the Philippines, France and Belgium. In 1974, Taft and her boys moved to Idaho. She began her education at ISU after holding a series of jobs and was first introduced to the Adult Basic Education center at the College of Technology as a work-study student. Taft credits Velma Berrey, a longtime mentor and teacher, for getting her started. “It was under her tutelage that I became an English as a Second Language tacher and basic-skills teacher.” Highlights to Taft’s career focus on the students she has worked with.“During the years I have met students from all over the world, which for one reason or another, are here in Idaho. From all my experiences living in different countries and cultures, my job as an ESL instructor has been a pleasure, not work at all,” she said. “Being able to help late bloomers, or people who have missed out on an education, has also proved to be my bliss.”
Taft not only worked at the college but pioneered workplace literacy in the eighties and nineties. She would work evenings in outreach areas that did not have access to adult basic education classes at that time.
“I quite often worked out of a cardboard box but bringing education to students was fun,” she said. “My family believes I know everyone everywhere because wherever we go I see former students and the connection is wonderful. I never get tired of hearing about their success in college, in the workplace and in their relationships.”