Retirees for 2013
Karla Nardi spent many years in the Hospitality industry before taking the position eleven years ago as Hospitality Instructor here at NPCC. She and her husband owned and operated their own Nightclubs and Restaurants for 16 years here in Hot Springs, while raising their three daughters (Maria, Giovanna, & Angela). They were awarded the “Salut au Restauranteur” Award in 1994 for “Excellence in Service to Tourist & Residents”. After joining the NPCC faculty, she has continued to strive to assist the hospitality industry and instill passion in her students. She has been awarded:
After retiring, Ms. Nardi plans on traveling with her husband, spending more time with her two grandchildren (Ila and Violet), and planning the wedding of her youngest daughter. She hopes to continue to assist the hospitality industry and community any way she can. And she plans on going back to being a RGBC (roadie, groupie, and band chick) for her husband, Tony.
She was born in Little Rock, AR, Dec. 23, 1942 the daughter of the late Walter and Ione Terry. She attended Annunciation Academy in Pine Bluff and was a 1960 graduate of Pine Bluff High School. She also enjoyed cheerleading, student government & choir in high school and college.
Her education and work experience:
The 20+ hospital years and the clinical microbiology background proved to be an invaluable asset throughout my teaching career. I believe that being able to share “real life” experiences with students preparing to enter a health care field is beneficial to our otherwise structured academic disciplines.
The past 21 years with NPCC began in May of 1992 when I taught the first Anatomy/Physiology summer school class for the Math-Science division. In the year 2000, I received a Doctorate degree thereby knocking another hole in the old cliché that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
The time spent on this campus has been the best of my professional and academic career. I now retire still loving the classroom, students and colleagues and will miss all of you so very much. What a grand and fun ride this has been.
Now I look forward to spending much more time with my husband and wonderful BIG family … the most precious gift one may receive during our stay on this earth. Our 4 beautiful children have blessed us with 9 “grandest” of grandchildren who range from 28 years to 4 months in age. The eldest grandson and granddaughter both married this spring so maybe within the next few years I will be able to enjoy GREAT Grandchildren. How much better could life get?
Bless you all and thanks for the memories!
Bio coming soon, please check back!
It seems like yesterday when Audrey Atherton phoned to let Dave know he was hired as an instructor at Quapaw Vocational Center. He’d never been hired over the phone before but he decided he liked it. That was 1994. He had a bachelor’s degree but no teaching certificate so his employment was contingent upon passing a two day exam for which he was so totally unprepared that he got hives on test day so it was rescheduled. He eventually got serious about studying and passed it on the next attempt much to Audrey Ann’s relief. Dave got his little pay increase but his great liberation was having that test successfully behind him. In fever dreams, he still travels back to the dreaded NOCTI test for which he is totally unprepared.
Dave was raised on a small farm in Fayetteville with twelve siblings where he milked cows, fed chickens and pigs and showed livestock at the Washington County Fair. His options after high school were:
1. Dignified labor in a poultry processing plant pulling birds from the truck or,
2. Attending college to earn a degree as a poor bohemian. Needless to say, a brief stint in poultry processing made a college man out of Dave quickly and he earned a degree switching majors as often as possible on the six year plan. After college, Dave moved to New Orleans where he learned to be a jazz drummer and how to be a preservation woodworker in the French Quarters. Four years later he moved to Charlottesville, Virginia where he opened a restoration and renovation business and played Rockabilly till all hours up and down the East coast. Family gatherings eventually brought his family back to Arkansas and they settled in Hot Springs. Youth and exuberance were on their side and work materialized when their savings were almost gone.
They moved into a historic neighborhood because Dave knew a little about old houses and started a neighborhood association which still exists today. He played in the Reggie Cravens combo at the Arlington for five years and has been the drummer for the Bellaire Buffs since 1987. Let’s dance!
His community organizing helped get him elected as Justice of the Peace and he looks forward to helping bring progress and preservation to his district and Garland County.
Dave has a camp near DeGray Lake with a stand of old native hardwoods; pretty unique for these parts. He plans to let colleges and universities use the land to study undisturbed native habitat and preserve rare and endangered species for future generations.
Dave also enjoys gardening, bicycling, sailing, hiking and reading. Like Mark Twain and others before him, Dave feels travel is a “Fools Paradise” so he limits his outings to Arkansas’ state parks which satisfy him immensely. He has a daughter, Molly who is an honors graduate of the NPCC RN program and two granddaughters, Maya and Zoey who are beautiful, smart and can do no wrong.
Began teaching at NPCC in January of 1995, after teaching as an adjunct during the fall of 1994. She worked with Susan Wallace the program director (first director of the HIT Program) of the HIT program until July of 2002.
In 2002 she assumed the program director responsibilities for the HIT, Medical Coding and Professional Medical Transcription programs.
In April 2010 NPCC became a member of the community college consortium for Region D as part of the HiTech Workforce Training Program for Electronic Health Record Implementation. The grant ended April 2013 and as required two new certificates programs are starting in the fall 2013, using the curriculum developed by the Office of the National Coordinator and used by the community college consortium.
Teaching in a specific program has special rewards and opportunities. Actually seeing a student beginning their college experience and then going to work at a job they are prepared for is very satisfying. Knowing we have done our best to graduate students with professional ethics and entry level competencies has been a program goal and a personal one for Valerie as well. Valerie states, “Many of the students we see in our program have personal issues that make attending college a challenge, yet their success has been my success.”
HIM professionals are encouraged to volunteer at the local, state and national level. NPCC has always been supportive of those activities and as such Valerie has been able to participate in the state organization and serve on a national committee. She is a site reviewer for the accrediting organization for HIM education. These are activities she plans to continue.
Recently she was honored as the Arkansas Health Information Management Distinguished Member for 2013. Over the years she has had the opportunity to meet fellow HIM educators through professional development activities which has been helpful in remaining current with educational advances.
For Valerie retirement will give her the opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren, who live out of state. She enjoys traveling and plans to encourage her husband to also take time off and join her! Her hobbies include reading and knitting. If only she could do them at the same time! She also enjoys working in the yard and cooking.
Our friend and colleague John E. Rima is a Spa City native who graduated from Hot Springs High School went on to get his higher education through UCA, HSU and The University of Alaska.
On August 24, 1992 he accepted the position of Nautilus Lab Instructor with Garland County Community College and began a lifelong career:
Prior to coming to GCCC John was a coach and physical education instructor in public schools, teaching track and field, basketball, football, wrestling, cross country, wrestling, swimming and lifesaving and hockey (which he taught when he lived in Alaska). Throughout his career he owned three Tae Kwon Do Schools, Adventure Expeditions and J. E. Rima and Associates.
He is a certified Coxswain with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and holds several certifications through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the US Fire Administration as well as others.
John loves the great outdoors as evidenced by his sailing talents which he has shared by teaching other how to sail. He has also taught scuba; life fitness concepts; history of martial arts, self-defense for women; personal safety and first aid; golf and a myriad of outdoor activities in order to help students develop the kind of fitness that lasts a lifetime.
We applaud John’s retirement and know that he and his wife, Vickie, are going to devote lots of that retirement time to their wonderful children, grandchildren and of course those terrific ‘other children’ their dogs.
Our best wishes to John and we wish only ‘fair winds and following seas’…….God’s speed John, we will miss you.
John worked at NPCC from 1998 through 2013 as the Program Director for the EMS Program.
The Program was accredited in 2003 thru CoAEMSP (Committee on Accreditation of Education Programs for the EMS Profession).
John has continued to work as a Paramedic for the past 37 years.
We can only imagine how many lives have been saved and improved by the efforts of John and his training of so many EMS program graduates. Thank you, John for your dedication and sacrifice, you will be missed!