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July 26, 2014

Speak Out: Thanks to a great professor

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Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:27 pm | Updated: 5:29 pm, Tue Jun 10, 2014.

I wish to honor an outstanding teacher, colleague, mentor and friend. Professor Teresa Suco touched the lives of thousands of students for three decades as the heart and soul of Jacksonville State University’s Spanish department. God only knows how many are indebted to her for her superb teaching and enthusiastic sharing of Spanish language and culture, for the countless hours, typically at no additional remuneration, spent working individually with students one-on-one in tutoring and/or independent study for credit, often late into the evening, to help them understand and succeed.

Her efforts in tirelessly assisting Spanish majors gain their degrees, teaching certificates and jobs, while always upholding the highest academic standards, were nothing less than monumental.

Professor Suco has also been a wonderful colleague, mentor and friend to fellow faculty members who have had the good fortune to work with her and know her personally. I can never repay her for her advice, guidance and friendship, and for the help she gave my late wife, Carolyn, in her Spanish studies and in gaining employment at one of the best prep schools in Alabama.

A number of longtime, highly respected professor/administrators recently entered full retirement alongside Professor Suco, not necessarily by choice. One wonders at personnel decisions apparently designed to save nickels and dimes at the cost of morale and matchless experience. Is this, for instance, going to help pay off the recent football stadium expansion fiasco? I think not. More to the point: What is the real price paid when morale and professional excellence are sacrificed to save a few bucks?

Professor Suco, please accept a heartfelt “thank you” from a most grateful friend.

Rufus Kinney

JSU English department, retired

Jacksonville

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