Meet the Foundation Board:
Nancy Osterlund serves on the Chairperson of the OCCC Board of Education, is the OCCC Foundation Board liaison and sits on the Scholarship Committee. In her own words, Nancy explains her dedication.
I was born in International Falls, Minnesota, near the Canadian border, where temperatures often reach minus 20, 30 or 40 degrees without the windchill factor. My hometown is known as the “Icebox of the Nation.” It is a beautiful part of the country where walleye or northern pike were plentiful for anyone who enjoyed fishing.
After high school, I enrolled in Bemidji State Teachers College. Bemidji was founded in 1919 as a preparatory school for teachers and I always wanted to be an English teacher. After my freshman year, Dad retired and moved to Seaside, Oregon. I moved along with the family and enrolled at Oregon State University. At that time OSU did not offer an English Education degree: only Elementary Ed., K-8. I opted to avoid another move and enrolled in Elementary Ed. The summer before my senior year, I met Paul who was in law school. We married at the end of my spring term.
I taught sixth graders provisionally for one year at Duniway Elementary School in Salem, OR. It was a self-contained classroom and required teaching everything, including art and music. I quickly learned I was not suited for either. I have a deaf ear and no artistic talent. At the end of that year of teaching, we were expecting the arrival of our daughter and I happily settled into being a wife and mom.
We moved to Toledo in 1965 when Paul accepted a partnership in a Toledo law firm. In 1979, I returned to Oregon State to finally pursue a degree in Secondary English Education. I happily began my second teaching career in Siletz, as a high school English teacher After several years, the high school portion of Siletz School closed. I, along with my fellow high school teachers, the principal and the students, moved to Toledo High and I continued teaching until I retired in 1998. I loved teaching and stay in contact with many of my former students through Facebook.
My passion for working as an educator and my belief that students need viable options for affordable education opportunities beyond high school, including career options unavailable in a traditional university setting, led to my decision to run for the OCCC Board of Education. Running a campaign was one of the more challenging and rewarding experiences in my life. I have been privileged to serve on the OCCC BOE for six years and began serving as a liaison to the Foundation and on the Scholarship Committee in 2017. Reading OCCC student applications for scholarships is humbling. What our students do and sacrifice to achieve their life-changing goals is nothing short of miraculous.
I feel fortunate to be part of OCCC, an organization that focuses on student needs and provides options that will enhance their lives and also benefit our communities. That is why I am involved with OCCC and the Foundation. Oregon Coast Community College lifts everybody.
Thank you for serving, Nancy.