Lisa Ison is retiring from Hazard Community and Technical College after serving 27 years in several pivotal roles at HCTC involving direct services to students. After graduating in 1980 from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point she began teaching high school English and psychology in Kewaunee, Wisconsin that August. She completed her master s degree in 1987. She taught at various high schools from 1980-1989. She began at HCTC as a part-time instructor in August of 1989. In January of 1990 she took over as a temporary full-time English teacher. She interviewed in the summer of 1990 for a full-time job as either a developmental education instructor or the Learning Center coordinator. She took the Learning Center job and the rest is history! She has served as Learning Center Coordinator, full-time English professor, Quality Enhancement Program director, division chair, faculty chair, and chair of multiple other committees. She also was the Director of the Mountain Writing Project for 10 years.
Connecting with so many people at the college, in the community, across the system, and through national conferences/organizations are a few things Mrs. Ison appreciates about her career. I really feel like I have been the luckiest person in the world. I got to spend 36 years teaching a subject I love, plus I have met so many people and have had so many opportunities to see places and learn. But the common denominator that has made it all a wonderful way to spend a career is the people I have gotten to know, she said.
Students give the highest praise for Mrs. Ison s work in the classroom. As one student told her, Your wonderful, positive attitude was very much appreciated! I loved the passion you have for your job. You really made this class one to remember. You are great at what you do! Another student wrote, Ms. Ison is very encouraging and helpful. She has helped me feel at ease with the online class setting when I felt overwhelmed at the beginning of the semester. One student praised her by writing: She was an excellent teacher. She always was available when I didn't understand something and she was just an email or phone call away. I love how she would put her own personal experiences into her teaching; she was easy to relate to and made me feel comfortable. I can honestly say she is one of the best English teachers I have ever had and can't wait to take her next semester. Yet another student put it this way: I enjoyed Lisa's class and she is a wonderful teacher. I wish I could have her again and again. Thank you so much for your help.
Honors for Mrs. Ison s excellence include the John Brown Outstanding Faculty award and the Developmental Educator of the Year award.
In her retirement, she plans to sew and garden more, get in better physical shape, travel, and visit her son, other family members, and friends. I will also likely be figuring out a way to earn a little spending money maybe start a cottage industry, she said.
Lisa is married to David Ison (since November of 2012), who is planning to retire within the year as well. One of their goals when they married was to retire before they were too old to enjoy it. David has one daughter, Jessie Reed, and two granddaughters, Sophie and Amelia, who Lisa loves to spoil. Lisa s son, Zeke Maggard, 23, graduated from UK in December of 2015 with dual degrees in finance and accounting. He now lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and is planning to attend law school in the fall. Lisa also has an older brother in Iowa, and her parents and a younger sister and brother all live in Wisconsin.
I will be forever grateful to a college that took a chance hiring this Yankee. It has been a most rewarding career, and for many years, this job was my life. I hope I have added value to the institution, because it has certainly added a wealth of value to my life, she said.