Franklin retires from LBWCC after 30 years

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Special to the Star-News

Ramona Franklin of Lockhart is completing a circle of education at LBW Community College with as much enthusiasm and excitement as when she started more than three decades ago.

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“The two year college has been an integral part of my life,” said Franklin. “I started my educational experience as a non-traditional student at a two-year college and all of my professional career has been spent as an instructor here at LBWCC.”

Taking classes toward a psychology degree with a vision of working in a clinical setting, she completed an Associate in Arts Degree at Lurleen B. Wallace State Junior College before transferring to Auburn University in Montgomery (AUM) where she earned an undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Psychology.

However, when given an opportunity to be a graduate teaching assistant at AUM, her vision changed.

“I knew the first time I stepped in the college classroom that I had found my calling. Since that time, I have never wanted to do anything else,” she said.

“I began to pursue opportunities to continue to teach at a college level once I graduated and thanks to good counsel, I found out that a future position at LBW was a possibility. Following that counsel, I completed my degree in psychology and began taking graduate classes in sociology.”

She joined the faculty at LBW one month after completing a graduate degree and found herself in the new role of being a colleague of former instructors.

“Being part of a two-year college provides a sense of connection between teachers and students and among peers that is different than four-year schools,” she said.

“While there have been challenges, there has never been a time that I didn’t love being in the classroom and teaching.”

Since her first year at LBW in 1984, she has witnessed a lot of changes in education and in what is needed to be an effective teacher.

“Students are different now culturally, socially, and technologically, so the challenge has been to be aware of those changes and meet the student where he or she is,” she said.

“The most interesting change these last few years has been to watch all the new employees join LBWCC and to realize you’re on the exiting end.”

Many of LBW’s current faculty and staff were once students in Franklin’s psychology, sociology, or ethics classes. Through the years, she even taught members of her own family, including two of her three children and a grandson.

Her involvement on campus went beyond the classroom, including serving many years as advisor for Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international academic honor society for two-year colleges.

“My view is that everything has its season. LBW has been a very meaningful and fulfilling season for me, but I’m looking forward to a new season,” she said.

While she has no immediate plans outside of visiting family scattered across the country, she said there will be broader opportunity for ministry involvement.

Although this new season of life means no longer being in a classroom, she hopes to stay engaged through distance education and teaching online classes in the future.

“LBW has been a very important part of my life and I’m very grateful for the years I’ve had here.”