This semester, two Covenant staff members, Marsha Fitzgerald and Yvonne Terney, have left the Covenant Community and have both taken positions in church administration. Dr. Sandy Shaw also announced he will be retiring in the Spring and will be on campus only part-time next semester.
Fitzgerald has already moved back to Florida to work at a church she had worked in previously for a number of years, according to Joan Stanton, who will take over Fitzgerald’s position in Academic Affairs. Stanton worked in Academic Affairs for 20 years before moving to the President’s Office in 2012. The president’s office will now have two open positions.
Monday, Feb. 8, Health Services secretary Yvonne Terney, started her new job at New City East Lake. She will be an administrative assistant, a new position that has just been created to help the church with organization. She and her husband have been members at New City Glenwood for 34 years and have spent the last year and a half at the East Lake church plant.
Terney has worked for Covenant College for a total of fifteen years, starting in August, 2001. She spent her first five years in the Office of Records and her last ten years working in Health Services.
“It was one of those Divine Providence things, I wasn’t looking for a new job, but I feel like the Lord is really leading in this direction,” Terney said, admitting that the move is very bittersweet.
“I will miss seeing students and we have such a great team. It’s a challenge -- it is kind of scary -- but I’m excited to be able to use my organizational gifts in a different way.”
Currently, no one has been hired to fill Terney’s position.
In a couple weeks, one of Covenant’s beloved language professors, Dr. Sandy Shaw, will turn 70. He said he always knew he would want to begin cutting back around this time in his life, and accordingly, this spring will be his last full semester of classes at Covenant. There will be a faculty social later in the semester to celebrate his retirement.
“I still very much enjoy interacting with students and my colleagues and the Covenant community, so I will still be around,” said Shaw. “I am trusting the Lord will orchestrate all of this.”
In the coming fall semester, he will still teach one or two language classes to help the language department transition, but only on a part-time basis. It has not yet been announced who will be taking his place. A dozen or so candidates were interviewed and Covenant offered the position to one of them in January. They are currently waiting to hear back from the candidate.
Dr. Shaw will certainly be staying busy, however. “I’ve been involved with Walker State Prison Ministry, mentoring a Spanish inmate there, and I would like more involvement,” he said.“There’s a real thirst for learning there.”
Shaw also plans to volunteer at the Chattanooga foodbank and to continue to sing with two different choral groups downtown. He is excited for the extra walking and hiking time as well. Some of his favorite locations include Cloudland Canyon, Covenant’s cross country trails, and the Chattanooga River Walk. This summer he will road-trip to Southern California to visit his youngest son, stopping along the way to visit friends. He is excited to spend time with his four grown children and eight grandchildren.
When Dr. Shaw first starting teaching at Covenant in 1976, he essentially was the language department until he left in 1985 and taught at Stony Brook in Long Island for 22 years. In 2007, he visited Covenant history professor, Dr. Lou Voskuil and found out Covenant needed a French and Spanish teacher.
Dr. Shaw took the job, and with the help of Dr. Neiles and Professor Cochran, he was able to put together French and Spanish majors. By 2009 students were graduating from the language program. Later, they were able to add Germanic and Arabic studies to Covenant’s language department as well.
Dr. Shaw says he is most comfortably fluent in English, French (which he finds the most beautiful), and Spanish (which he thinks is the most fun), but that he cannot pick a favorite. He can also read in Italian and Portuguese and has studied many other languages, including Latin, Mandarin, Russian, and Polish.
He cannot pick a favorite class either. “I like teaching the elementary and the advanced classes. I like to introduce students to a new language and encourage them,” he said. “But I like the advanced classes too, where students are able to express themselves well already.”