Paula Evans-Duncan: Rewarding Work
After losing her job of five years, Paula Evans-Duncan signed up for the Worker Retraining program, which provides educational and career planning to help unemployed and dislocated workers retrain in a vocational field. Within two weeks of being accepted into the program, she started classes at WVC at Omak and felt slightly overwhelmed by the changing schedule, the amount of homework, and the two-hour round-trip drive from Twisp to Omak.
“I have a dogged determination that once I start something I don’t give up,” Paula said.
She credits Omak faculty member Vicki Turner for offering encouragement and helping her to sign up for classes and get her books. Business faculty member Jean Rodgers helped Paula coordinate her elective classes so that she could earn dual degrees in accounting and business. She will complete her associate of technical science degree in accounting this June and return this fall for one more class to complete her business degree.
“I thought taking accounting and business would help me become a more marketable employee, or would help me learn how to operate my own business,” Paula said, adding that she has considered starting up a temp service in her hometown of Twisp. “Many small business owners in the Methow Valley don’t have the opportunity to take vacations or time off for emergencies. I could serve as a liaison, or come in when they need an extra hand to help with special projects.”
Paula has a variety of office- and small-business experience. She worked as an information receptionist for the Winthrop Ranger District and as a graphic designer at Methow Valley News for almost 12 years. After graduation, she hopes to take some courses in Web design to add to her talents.
She currently serves as treasurer in the WVC at Omak student government. Being study body treasurer, she said, “made me realize how much I miss working. [Work] is something you go to all the time and you can develop it.”
Paula said that the student senate “offers continuity through every quarter and it’s very rewarding work with a remarkably good team of people. It’s a nice feeling to know that when I leave, I did something positive for the school, and they did something positive for me.”