Academic Dean Leila Sandlin Smith speaks to Ernest Shouse during a retirement party in the library at HCTC s Lees College Campus.
Ernest Shouse is retiring from teaching at HCTC s Lees College Campus after a total of 49 years in education. He s been teaching at Lees since 1965 on a part-time basis but now, at age 73, he is going to devote more time to his family and his art.
A farewell party was held for Shouse on Dec. 7 in the library, surrounded by friends who appreciate his long history at the school. Teaching college classes in design, pottery, drawing, painting, and public school art led to his very enjoyable career.
When I first started teaching, it was in a one-room school at Upper Big Branch at Haddix. At that time, I was going to be the next Picasso, he remembers with a smile.
I ve had a wonderful life teaching. It s been a lot of fun, Shouse said. Through the years, he has seen more people coming back to school after raising a family. I really enjoy working with the older students because they are so committed; they take part more in the classroom; they ask more questions.
HCTC Librarian Cathy Branson noted, Ernest Shouse has been a wonderful person to work with. He is truly a supporter of the library. I especially appreciate his painting classes and ceramic classes he had conducted here. We ll miss him.
Dean of Student Engagement Cluster Howard fondly remembers Shouse while he was in school. It is a unique situation when your high school teacher has the opportunity to teach you in college. I had that experience as a student at Breathitt and at Lees College. I was never a gifted artist but Mr. Shouse made the classes interesting and he was able to teach you at your level. He also incorporated art history into all his classes and I appreciated that very much as I continued my college career. Ernest taught for the love of teaching and the love he had for his students. He will surely be missed as a valuable member of our college family.
Vice President of Student Services Doug Fraley praised Shouse for his tremendous life-long work in public schools. He has promoted the artistic and creative talents of 1000 s of students. He is really a kind and gentle person dedicated to promoting student success, Fraley said.
Shouse and his wife Jeanette look forward to having more family time. She retired as Breathitt County Librarian and has worked for Lees and LBJ. The couple has twin sons, Charles Berry Shouse who works for Kentucky River Community Care and Michael Steven Shouse, a school teacher at Georgetown Middle School. The couple s daughter, Kara Jeanine Shouse, is Art Director for Patterson Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their grandson, Brayden, son of Charles, is seven years old. Many in the area may know of the work of Charles Shouse and Michael Shouse who created a movie Forever in Black Hills. Charles directed and edited; Michael acted and handled the music. Phillip Neace also acted. The movie, available on Netflix, is the story of two brothers who were estranged following the death of their parents.
Shouse is looking forward to the next chapter in his life. I ll come back to visit the folks at Lees. I hope God blesses them all as He has blessed me, Ernest Shouse said.