Beth Jan Smith and her daughter, Janel Beth

Beth Jan Smith received the only doctoral degree bestowed at the WSU Tri-Cities spring commencement.  And while the news story didn’t say so, she may have been the only graduate who could celebrate in tandem with her child.

Beth earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership.  Her daughter, Janel Beth, took part in the ceremony because she is scheduled to complete her B.A. in history this summer.

Beth has been a part-time community college adviser and adjunct instructor while finishing her dissertation on “The Influence of a New Student Introduction Program on New Student Retention at a Two-Year, Rural Community College.” Chances are she can put her advising expertise to work at home.  She has five children, of whom Janel is the first to earn a four-year degree.

A certifiably happy moment

Wenatchee ProCert class

Not all happy academic endings involve caps and gowns.  This year, 320 teachers obtained their Professional Certification through WSU — including this ProCert group in Wenatchee. Pictured from left to right are Dr. Joan Wright, instructor, with teachers Oliva Gonzalez-Franco, grade 1; Stephanie Ross, kindergarten; Betsy Myers, kindergarten; Jake St. John, high school English; Koni McLean, high school French and English; Malinda James, pre-school. Not pictured: middle school teacher Alicia Lopez, who was home with her new baby.