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Director leaves her post at OC Poulsbo

 - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

POULSBO — After more than four years of serving as Olympic College Poulsbo branch director, Kelly Woodward is heading back to class herself.

Her last day on the job was yesterday, and her resignation will afford her the time to pursue a law degree at Seattle University.

Woodward was named director of the Poulsbo campus in May 2003. The much anticipated branch of the Bremerton-based Olympic College opened in January 2004.

“It is so hard to leave because I’ve seen this school grow from the ground floor up,” she said. “Not too many people have the opportunity to help start something like this and see it grow. It makes it hard to leave.”

Woodward said she’s been working with interim OC Poulsbo director Sonia Begert in preparation for the transition since early June.

She said she enjoyed the past four years at Olympic College’s northernmost campus, and her affection for OC Poulsbo almost led her to attempt a double duty role between SU and OC.

“Originally, I was going to continue working at OC and go to law school at the same time. (Olympic College president) Dr. David Mitchell was 100 percent behind me,” she said. “But with the amount of evening work and weekend job duties, I didn’t feel I would be able give 100 percent to both at the same time. It’s hard to leave because the college is so supportive.”

Attending law school has been a life-long aspiration, said the 35-year-old Woodward.

“I have always wanted to go to law school. I know a lot of lawyers and have been around them for a long time. I knew being in a law school program was something I wanted to pursue,” she said. “In the past the timing wasn’t right. I finally decided to make the move towards law school. It’s a new challenge that I’m excited about, and I think the timing is right.”

Woodward said she is enrolled in a four-day a week program at Seattle University that takes three years to complete. In June, she took her first course of the program.

“I’m interested in intellectual property, environmental law and social justice,” she said.

Woodward said she will keep her options open during her journey through law school.

“I’ve heard that people find interests they never thought they would in law school,” she said. “I’m going to keep an open mind to find what I enjoy. I want to help people. That’s a big component of what I want to do.”

While Woodward may be moving on, she said OC will always be a part of her.

“I will always be a OC supporter,” she said. “Its a big part of my life. This school has touched my heart. I developed great relationships with so many students here.”

Watching students grow and achieve their goals is what Woodward will miss the most about life at OC Poulsbo.

“The most rewarding aspect of my job was the interaction with students and seeing the impact that college had on their lives,” she said. “That’s why we’re here, to make a difference. Our goal is to help support students achieve their goals. We want students to pursue their dreams. They have great energy and are fun to be around.”

Woodward said OC Poulsbo has a bright future ahead of it.

“The Poulsbo campus is established. The campus continues to grow every year,” she said. “The college is growing to fit the needs of this community. During my time here I’ve had full support from the strong leadership at OC and I believe that strong leadership will continue for years to come. The college is responsive to the needs of the community.”

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