Associate Professor of Adult Basic Education Sally Guy brings her worldview to the classroom. Guy loves to travel and spent a semester abroad in Europe during college. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity helped shape her global perspective, gave her a deep appreciation for other cultures and has her celebrating the diversity that makes everyone—including her students—unique.
At Elgin Community College, Guy teaches high school equivalency (HSE) classes to a wide variety of students, where she believes her main objective is to “instill confidence in each of my students and to reinforce the idea that they can, and will, be successful.”
In her 20 years at ECC, Guy’s greatest accomplishment is having the opportunity to meet and work with Sudanese refugees during the early 2000s. “They had survived unthinkable challenges, and we (the Adult Basic and Secondary Education department) had the chance to prepare them to become successful citizens,” she said.
Guy also values the long-term connections she has forged with former students. “There was one particular young man, Zach, who has been a devoted serviceman in the U.S. Army since he graduated over 10 years ago,” Guy said. “I still keep in touch with him and enjoy cheering him on as he celebrates life accomplishments.”
It’s not just Zach that Guy cheers on…it’s all of her students. “The best part of my job is being a part of my students’ success. They work diligently while in the program, and they deserve their proud moment at our annual HSE graduation ceremony in May.”
We caught up with Guy to learn more about her life and her work at ECC. Here is what she had to say.
What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?
If ECC’s accounting department agreed, I would waive tuition for one class per student at ECC.
What’s on your “bucket list?”
To visit Lithuania, where my grandparents are from.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to read, travel and swim.
Where was the best place you’ve traveled to?
There have been a number of places, but I thought Stonehenge was pretty awesome!
What’s one fact we should know about you?
I studied abroad for a semester while attending the University of Illinois. Living in Bristol, England was wonderful, and having the ability to travel to many countries in Europe because of this was an unforgettable experience.
What would be your “theme song?”
“You Raise Me Up,” by Josh Groban, as a tribute to those who have encouraged and helped me achieve my goals.
What was your favorite class in school?
I loved science, chemistry in particular…likely because of the great teachers I had.
What was your first job out of school?
I taught first grade in a small rural town in central Illinois.
What quote best describes your philosophy?
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because…”
I have had the good fortune to work with awesome colleagues and great, interesting students!