Letter to the editor

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Whatcom Community College community,

This is Sean Donoghue-Neider Assistant Teacher at the CDC and a student at WCC. I’m writing this with a heavy heart  during the very sad and difficult last three weeks of the Child Development Center’s operation.  Reflecting on the entire CDC situation one has to wonder does the WCC administration really value early learning and collaborative partnerships? 

I think not. 

A supportive and collaborative administration that did value early learning would never have let the CDC operate on fiscal thin ice for so long, and brainstorming, collaboration and action would’ve happened a long time ago if the right people cared enough! 

However, recently it has become painfully obvious to me that WCC does not value collaborative partnerships or early learning.  I will be the first to say that the recent 4 million dollar land purchase on behalf of WCC is a direct insult to the beautiful, selfless, passionate and noble 30+ year legacy of the Child Development Center. 

Frankly I’m so disgusted by this in addition to the manner in which the CDC closure was handled, that I’m choosing not to re-enroll at WCC this fall as I don’t believe they deserve my tuition dollars anymore.

I did not come to this decision lightly, I started attending WCC full time in the winter of ’09 and found the professors insightful and knowledgeable, the classes enriching and the students friendly and outgoing.  When I was hired to work at the CDC it was a life changing, amazing experience that will now leave a considerable hole in my life. 

Recently I had every intention of pursuing my Early Childhood Degree, joining the Student Council and even founding an Early Learning Student Club here at WCC!  However, I cannot with a clear heart and mind currently support this institution in any way and would much rather support a community college that has managed to sustain their CDC.

I’ve been in the “trenches” petitioning, brainstorming and collaborating on how to sustain the WCC CDC for over a month and I can tell you that numerous students, community members and faculty  legitimately care about CDC and would potentially even pay an increased fee to help sustain the center.

Through my own creative initiative, I developed a sustainable and viable funding solution for a permanent CDC funding stream only to have it shot down almost immediately by administration.  That solidified in my mind that they don’t care or have other priorities which personally, I believe both to be true (real estate).

If there is any legacy to be left by this closure it’s a legacy of casual indifference on behalf on the WCC administration.  This is a true tragedy because over the years the CDC served the community so incredibly well, empowered thousands of students, parents, faculty and staff and most importantly, taught valuable life lessons to our beautiful young and growing future generation of leaders and decision makers(the children).  I implore the current administration to avoid this legacy and act to create another……the choice truly is yours.

I want to wish you all at WCC the best that life has to offer and humbly beg you to honor the memory of the invaluable service provided by everyone involved with the Child Development Center over the years and currently.  If and when you can, work to re-open the space and let it continue to do what it was built to do….serve children. 

I will leave this place with my head held high, eternally grateful for the lessons I learned, the mentors I’ve had and when it’s all over I will know that I did all that I could to help children succeed.  Take the essence of what the CDC stood for and create your own legacy of service and selflessness, this is our supreme responsibility as human beings and in that endeavor I wish you all the best of luck. 


Sean Donoghue-Neider

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