celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news

School taught director to think outside box

Dianne McClish
Age: 59
Occupation: Vice president, finance and administration, Amarillo Chamber of Commerce.

Where did you receive your education?
College: Amarillo College; West Texas A&M University.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
I enrolled in Amarillo College in 1991 when I was 41 years old and had just started work as an administrative assistant at the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce. I was promoted to vice president shortly before I earned my associate degree in 1995. I continued my education at WT while working in this management position and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1999. I suppose you can say I got my big job while earning my degree.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
I was 41 years old, recently divorced, still had two of my three children at home, and had not worked, except being a church secretary, for nearly 15 years. I lived within walking distance of Amarillo College and one day just walked down there, talked to a counselor and ended up enrolled. I was absolutely scared to death! I had not been a formal classroom for 25 years.

What is the value of your education?
When I started classes at Amarillo College my self esteem was pretty low. I really was going just for me, not for a better job, or more money, but to prove to myself that I was smart and had worth. Every time those grades came out I just got a little taller and today I am very sure of my value in society.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
Both of my daughters have completed degrees, one an associate degree at Amarillo College and my other daughter a bachelor's degree from Wayland Baptist University, so I believe I have set a good example and encouraged them in that direction.

2009 Stories
2008 Archive
calendar of events
  • January 11
    Kickoff of 2009 Program
    Find out what Celebrate Education is all about in this special section in your Sunday paper.
  • March 7
    Regional Spelling Bee, West Texas A&M University
    The annual Regional Spelling Bee will feature the top spellers from the Amarillo area. The top five winners will receive scholarship money ranging from $500 to $5,000 and the winner will travel to Washington, D.C., in June to represent the area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Spring and Fall
    Amarillo Reads community-wide reading projects.
    Dates and details TBA
  • April
    Amarillo Education Matching Grants Program. Exact date TBA
  • April 10
    What's a Kid to Do Special Section
  • April 12
    What's a Kid to Do at the Amarillo Civic Center
    This event will focus on activities and camps for children to participate in during the summer..
  • May 8-29
    Beating the Odds
    A series of stories published daily in the Amarillo Globe-News during the graduation season that profiles people who have inspiring stories to tell about the degree they are about to receive.
  • May 12
    Ready for the Real World program at Amarillo Civic Center
    AISD juniors get training on what's going to face them in a little more than a year.
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Special Section
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Event at West Texas A&M University
  • Fall
    Discover College Day
    Fifth graders from area schools visit college campuses.
  • October 1
    Great Jobs Special Section
    Focusing on well paying jobs available in the area that people may not know about.
  • November 2
    Career Education Special Section
    Focusing on businesses and others in the community helping young people gain a career vision.
  • November
    Yes You Can Event
    Designed to help people gain information about the next level of education from GED to PhD. Date TBA.
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