Valerie Karnes has traded budgets, endless meetings, and administrative work to return to her first love, teaching. She took the path from classroom to administration and now finds herself right where she wants to be, back in the classroom.
It always was Karnes plan to return to teaching and finish out her career working with the students she enjoys so much. She has worked in a large variety of industries over the past 30 years which have included: manufacturing, research and development, aerospace, retail, and education. At Cerro Coso she began working as an adjunct faculty member in 1994 and became a full-time faculty member in 2001. Most recently, she served as the Dean of Career Technical Education and worked with all the technical programs at the college, writing and managing federal grants.
“As a returning faculty member, I am excited about getting back into the classroom, expanding the opportunities for students and watching them grow,” said Karnes. “Education changes lives and I love being a part of the classroom that inspires students academically and professionally.”
Now a Professor of Computer Information Systems (CIS) and Business, Karnes spent the summer brushing up on the latest programs and changes in the field. “It’s a different world,” she said. “My six year old granddaughter has been using a Kindle since she was 5. Networking has transformed how people connect, communicate, and collaborate and it is a very exciting field to study,” she concluded. Karnes is teaching five classes this fall and has some interesting partnerships and presentations lined-up for her students.
Her passion for teaching reignited, Karnes is in no rush to retire any time soon. She holds a BA in History from the University of California, Davis and a MA in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. Karnes is a great example of a great teacher who loves teaching others to love learning!