By Kaila Cove
Teresa Taylor was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve a five-year term as a member on the board of trustees at Whatcom Community College in October.
“Trustees face the exciting challenge to seek out, consider, and balance many diverse values and interests as they engage in the policy-making process that guides the colleges to excellence and success,” Kloke said.
Taylor says that she has been living in Ferndale for 25 years where she is a member on the Ferndale City Council.
Teresa Taylor accepted for position in October
Taylor moved to Whatcom County at the age of 3 after previously living in Chicago.
“I grew up in Bellingham where I attended Roosevelt Elementary, Assumption Catholic School, and Bellingham High School,” Taylor said by email.
Whatcom Community College is familiar grounds to Taylor.
“I am a graduate of Whatcom Community College where I received my AAS [Associate of Applied Science] degree.”
Taylor also was a student of Western Washington University. “I studied accounting and more recently project management,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s educational background also includes attending Washington State University.
“I completed the Master Gardener, Master Composter & Recycler, and Carbon Master programs from Washington State University and the Patient Navigation program at WCC,” she said in her email.
Taylor replaces board member Tim Douglas whom Taylor says she admires. Douglas served for 10 years on the board, Taylor said, but he decided to not continue for another term.
“I filled his position, and he’s a tough act to follow,” she said.
The board consists of five members from the community: John Pedlow, Steve Adelstein, Wendy Bohlke, Rebecca Johnson, and Teresa Taylor.
In addition to the Ferndale City Council, Taylor is an active member in various community groups, including Ferndale Downtown Association and Bellingham International Airport Advisory.
“Involvement with your community is both priceless and invaluable, and the feeling of fulfillment can be endless,” Taylor said.
As a member of the board of trustees, Taylor explained that her job, along with all the members on the board as “setting the college’s strategic direction, establishing policy for the college, awarding tenure, approving the operating budget and hiring the college president.”
Taylor, who is a registered member of the Lummi Nation and active on the Lummi Indian Business council, said she hopes to help contribute to making Whatcom inclusive and diverse by providing “a cultural and environmental feeling of belonging.”
Rafeeka Kloke, who is the special assistant to the president of Whatcom, said that trustees such as Taylor have an essential link with the community.
“They both represent the community to the college and advocate for the college in the community and state,” she said.
Part of Taylor’s role in this process is to establish partnerships with various agencies and organizations.