Ellen Wild

Interview with Ellen Wild   by John Desmond

I interviewed Ellen Wild on April 3, 2015.

John Desmond: What were you doing before you came to DCC?

Ellen Wild: I was the Executive Director of The Child Care Council of Dutchess County. It still exists but now includes Putnam County.

J.D.: How did you become interested in DCC?

E.W.: Dorothy Decker, who held this position before I came, called to tell me of an opening. I had adjuncted for her for several semesters in the past. I applied, got the job, and have been here since 1997.

J.D.: What changes have you seen in the Early Childhood Program since you came to DCC?

E.W.: When I was first hired, the curriculum in the Early Childhood Program focused on childcare and nursery school. There was an A.A.S. and a certificate. There were some students seeking to transfer to a four-year college for a bachelor’s degree and a certificate in elementary education, but most graduated with an A.A.S. degree and went into the work force. Over the years, with much help from Carl Denti, we added an A.S. with SUNY New Paltz as part of a Jointly Registered Teacher Education Program. At first, this was a Birth through Second Grade certification, and a few years ago, when New Paltz went to a dual certification, we combined the B-2 and 1-6 programs under Early Childhood, changing the name of the program to Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Now more of our graduates focus on elementary education; however, the AAS degree has held on strong.

            There is also Common Core.  But I do not want to say much more about that except that it has affected both the A.A.S. degree and the transfer degrees we have because Common Core extends all the way to pre-school.  Your two-year-old grandson may have already experienced it in the day-care school he is enrolled in.

J.D.: Whom do you admire at DCC?

E.W.: Carl Denti. He was a wonderful department head and academic dean. And, of course, the people I work with here: Connie McLaughlin, Michelle Murasso, Eileen Hall, and Elaine Myrianthopoulos. Then there are the other people here in Taconic Hall, whom I see every day, and the people who teach in BHS. Don’t forget the BHS secretary, Debbie Ackerman. I have admired Ellen Gambino and Colleen Trogisch for years and do even more at this point. I feel lucky to have had this last year with Dr. Edington. I think she has come in and been amazing.

J.D.: What do you not admire at DCC?

E.W.: I didn’t like getting sued by the past President. I didn’t like the confusion over assessment. However, I have lived my DCC life over here in Taconic for the most part, and I have enjoyed it.

J.D.: Why are you retiring?

E.W.: My husband, who is retired. I am “of a certain age” and it is time. 

J.D.: What do you plan to do in retirement?

E.W.: I hope to work registration, helping to explain the Early Childhood Program to incoming students. It is a way to help the new chairperson of the program and stay in touch with old and new students.