Lisa and Bill Pierce are retired engineers, making a difference for GED students in Skagit County. Lisa began teaching GED math with Community Action Skagit 7 years ago, when they moved to Arlington. Last year, when there was a need for a GED physics and chemistry teacher, Lisa recruited her husband, Bill.
Lisa worked as a structural engineer/manager, in Bellevue, for 20 years. Bill’s dream was to teach physics at the college level, but when he finished his doctorate, there were very few faculty positions, so he did post-doctoral research and then spent 17 years as a software engineer, working at a few different start-ups.
Today, they get to help a group of adult education students obtain their GED, through Community Action. Bill enjoys working with adult students because they bring to class not only the learning they got in public school, but also the real-life experience they’ve had since. “It’s fun to see the students light up when they understand something they’ve always wondered about.” Bill likes to relate GED science subjects to everyday life and regularly brings common objects into class to illustrate physics principles. Lisa kept an elated voice-mail for months, from a student who was excited about passing a major milestone test, and the echo of her student’s voice will be in her heart forever.
STEM education is valuable whether you plan to enter a technical field or not. It’s important to understand math and science even when you cast a ballot because it empowers you to make your own, informed decisions. “We both enjoy feeling like something we are doing could make a big difference for our students presently, or years down the road, in ways we will probably never hear about.”