By Katherine Warner, Staff Writer
Long-time faculty member, Barbara Eretzian, has found a new home as Director of Field Services. Eretzian has been a well-known face in the Education Department, being a field supervisor and helping students as they work in the field. She is taking charge of the entire Department of Field Supervision as as an experienced interim and now officially taking the position of director.
The sun shone bright into the spacious corner office on the second floor of the Ed Center. The bookshelves were full, yet still organized and appealing to the eye. Many tastefully designed folders and binders added a pop of color to the room, while photographs of her family brought a homey feel into the atmosphere.
Eretizian thought back to what her past experiences have given her to help her with her new job. She leaned back in her chair and laughed. “Everything,” said Eretzian. “Knowledge of Maine school districts and how they function; experience with teacher supervision; knowledge of how students learn and grow, both K-12 and adults; a general knowledge of education; and how to work with people.”
Eretizian relaxed as she easily threw out multiple reasons why she loves working with students. “I love this point in their life where they’re making big decisions and the excitement [they] have.” She continued saying she loves the energy that students have and bring into the classroom. She admitted that “the light in [their] eyes as [they] figure out what it is that [they] want to do” makes the job rewarding.
Wendy Kennedy, Administrative Specialist in the Department of Field Supervision, works closely with Eretzian on a daily basis. “She’s extremely gifted at interpersonal communication,” said Kennedy. “That’s a skill she demonstrates on a regular basis.” At that moment, Eretzian walked in to ask Kennedy a question. Kennedy smiled and said, “We’re just talking about how wonderful you are, Barb.” Immediately Eretzian blushed and walked back into her office. Kennedy turned back and smiled. “She has vision for the future of education [and] current best practices and that is really important,” said Kennedy. “In field services you always have to be looking for what is next, because education doesn’t stand still, and she’s quite good at that.”
Megan Popp, junior at UMF, was more than happy to share her experiences with Eretzian. In an email, she recalled the first time she met Eretzian. “Sophomore year I had my practicum seminar with Barb. I remember the first time we all met so clearly. We all gathered in one of the little dining hall rooms, and everyone was so nervous. Barb just sat down so casually with confidence and told us all to relax and that it will be a lot of work, but will be so worth it.” Even through this make-or-break time in student’s education, Eretzian was able to keep the class cool, calm, and collected. “Barb made the nervousness end, the fears disappear, and she allowed our excitement to shine,” said Popp.
Popp is very happy with Eretzian’s new position and is excited to see what is to come. “There is no doubt in my mind that she will continue to help people grow, and share all of her wisdom and advice. Students will be so lucky to sit down and talk with Barb for even a couple of minutes. She knows what she is doing, and will be able to answer all the questions any future student has for her.”