Dean a lifelong educator

Nancy Ybarra is the new dean of Liberal Arts on campus. She has been teaching at LMC since 1980.

Cathie Lawrence

Nancy Ybarra is the new dean of Liberal Arts on campus. She has been teaching at LMC since 1980.

New Dean of Liberal Arts Nancy Ybarra was destined to become an educator since her days of roleplaying as a teacher as a little girl.

“I tell my students I always wanted to be a teacher from the time I can remember from 5 years old,” she said.

Among a group of young kids, Ybarra would always role play as the teacher. Being a quick learner, Ybarra had assumed the role of a tutor as early as first grade. Since she knew how to read going into the first grade, she was often helping fellow classmates. Ybarra continued her role as a tutor throughout high school.

Ybarra holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Educations from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts degree in education from Saint Mary’s College, a Certificate in Developmental Education from the Kellogg Institute at Appalachian State University and a Certificate in Postsecondary Teaching of Reading from San Francisco State University.

She came to Los Medanos College in 1980 as a Learning Specialist and transitioned to teaching basic skills courses in the English Department. Ybarra went on to hold a variety of leadership positions. That includes Professional Development/Nexus Coordinator, Co-Chair of the Developmental Education Committee, Co-Chair of Teaching Learning Project/Assessment Committee, Coordinator of the CCCCD Teaching Academy and Department Chair for English/ES.

Having been a professional Development Coordinator gave Ybarra the start to becoming actively involved with LMC.

“I was interested in working with faculty on campus to work with students’ different learning styles,” she said.

She was able to work with five faculty members across different disciplines in which they would go into classrooms, observe and then make suggestions about alternative teaching styles.Ybarra was also part of the group of faculty that brought the Center for Academic Support (CORE) to LMC in 1999. They also helped to bring the English Lab to the English Department and the integrated reading and writing courses.

She said, “it’s not unusual that not many students are ready to take college level courses.” Ybarra wanted to have programs that could be of help to college students as much as possible.With Ybarra’s love for teaching and her skills in leadership positions, her goal is to learn the ins-and-outs of her role in order to be an effective Dean.

“I love learning and I’m excited to be in this position as I’m always learning,” she said.

Ybarra’s love for learning continues outside of school. She has been involved with many book clubs over the years. At one point, Ybarra was in four book clubs at the same time but is now down to one book club with a group of neighbors and friends. They meet once a month to discuss the current book and to select the next book. Ybarra also loves to cook, dance, do yoga, hike, travel and spend time with her husband and 15-year-old son.