By Kristin Grafft

Staff Writer

As students rush to prepare for their next steps in school and careers, teachers like Ralph De La Ossa are preparing to sail around the world.

De La Ossa has worked at the college for 15 years in the public services department and is now getting ready to sail into retirement with style.

A few more teachers who will be retiring from the LAC at the end of this semester are Evacelia Talastas, a vocational nursing teacher who worked at LBCC 38 years, Richard Yentch, the financial aid director with 12 years of experience at LBCC, Linda Bell, a math and engineering teacher with 19 years of service, and communication studies teacher Betty Martin who worked at the college for 27 years.

Support staff member Michele Brown, the senior administrative assistant in admissions, has worked at LBCC for eight years and will be retiring at year’s end.

Another employee who will be retiring this year is Linda Lower, the senior administrative assistant for the Academic Senate. And Financial Aid employee Dorthy Gutirrez will retire. A retirement gathering was arranged for Lower on Wednesday, May 29 to celebrate her work as she prepares to leave LBCC.

Janice Tomson, past president of the Senate, said, “We’re giving as big a party for her as we can, because she deserves so much.” more. She’s the strength behind us.”De La Ossa has been the department chair for the past nine years and said that he had a blessed career at LBCC.

One of his more notable accomplishments was when he received an award from Homeland Security for implementing the first homeland security and Transportation Security Administration classes in Southern California.

However, De La Ossa said the moments he is most proud of are, “Every time one of our students got hired at the fire department. Those were my highlights.”

Now that he is retiring, De La Ossa is planning to travel from Sacramento to Hawaii and then around the globe.

De La Ossa, 65, plans to get a boat and “take off” with a group of fellow retired colleagues. “I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. However long it takes,” he said.