August 23, 2001 11:00 pm
Nancy Campbell ().
Nancy Campbell ().

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

The average age of Union County residents using the Internet might soon jump.

The reason: the number of seniors taking introductory computer classes could increase.

Nancy Campbell, the new manager of the Union-Baker Education Service Districts continuing education program, is working to make this happen. Campbell wants to make sure that senior citizens are aware of the many introductory computer classes being offered by the ESD.

We want to reach out to seniors, she said.

Campbell plans to give presentations at retirement centers about continuing education courses like those which introduce people to the basics of purchasing, maintaining and operating computers.

Campbell also wants to focus on meeting the needs of other people including stay-at-home mothers and people who might be housebound.

The ESDs continuing education program offers more than 100 classes a year. They cover a broad range of subjects including Filipino and Chinese cooking, oil painting, cake decorating, first aid, medical terminology and more.

The classes are taught by community members who have a skill or interest they want to share with others.

Campbell also coordinates the ESDs driver education and tutoring programs. She has enjoyed her first month in her position.

I like all of it. It is fast-paced and I get to meet a lot of people. I love meeting people, Campbell said.

Campbell succeeds Kathy Derry who managed the continuing education program for about seven years. Derry is moving to Arizona where her husband has taken a new job.

The ESDs continuing education program grew under Derrys guidance and Campbell wants it to continue to expand.

Im excited about the programs potential for growth, she said.

Campbell grew up in Boise and later worked at Micron Technology for 10 years. The firm, based in Boise, makes computer chips. Campbell has lived in La Grande for five years.

She is aggressive, innovative and personable, said Lyle Mann, the ESDs director of professional, technical and alternative education.

Campbell and her husband, Scott, have two boys, ages 4 1/2 and 6.

Campbell said it is rewarding to manage the continuing education program because students are motivated to take the classes.

You have few dissatisfied customers. People often say I learned something and had fun, Campbell said. I want people to be happy.

Campbell encourages anyone who would like to teach a continuing education class to call her at 963-4106.