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In Memoriam: Rick Allan Sheets, Ed.D. Rick Sheets mused on his personal website that anyone meeting him would probably remember him for wearing one of his trademark Hawaiian shirts—“often with a tie.” Yes, but we will also remember Rick for his eagerness to learn and teach new skills, his service to our professional organizations and councils, his friendly generosity, and his many accomplishments. Dr. Sheets was one of our most respected leaders. He served the College Reading and Learning Association as President (President-elect, President, Past President, 2007-2009), Interim ITTPC Coordinator and Interim Technology Designer (2008-2009), ITTPC Coordinator (2009-2015), Webmaster (2009-2012), ITTPC Reviewer (1999-2005; 2014-2016), Director of AzCRLA (1994-1995), and On-Site Chair for CRLA’s Tempe conference in 1995. Rick was also a longtime member of NADE. He co-founded SWADE and served as the chapter’s president (1990-1992). More recently he presented at the Maricopa Summer Institute for Developmental Education (2010, 2011). With Frank Christ, Rick co-directed the weeklong Winter Institute for learning assistance professionals and served as a mentor every year (1992-2002). He also co-founded LSCHE with Frank in 1997 and served continuously as webmaster. Rick was website manager and technology advisor for CLADEA (2009-2011) and widely known for website design and leadership. He was a mentor and presenter at TIDE (all but two summers 2000-2008), technology trainer for Paradise Valley Community College staff and faculty as part of his Computer Commons Director duties (1997-2009), and co-founder, mentor, and presenter at each of PVCC's first seven annual Summer Fun Technology Weeks (2003-2009). Dr. Sheets earned many awards for his work in the field: Black and Gold Service Award for Outstanding Service to the College (Maricopa Technical Community College, 1984); "One of Ten Highly Respected Learning Assistance Professionals in the Nation" (Rob Somers, National Center for Developmental Education, 1986); Outstanding Management Employee (Gateway College, 1987); Innovator of the Year (Maricopa Community Colleges through the National League for Innovation, 1989, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2007); Sapphire Award for Outstanding Service (CRLA, 2012); Karen G. Smith Special Recognition Service Award (CRLA, 2004); and the Robert Griffin Award for Long and Outstanding Service (CRLA,2015). In February, 2015, Dr. Sheets was awarded the highest honor in our field when he was inducted as a Fellow of the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations. Rick shared with friends that his journey into learning support began in high school when he volunteered to help students in his mother’s special education classes. Watching and assisting his mother as she struggled to recover from a stroke, earn a master’s degree in special education, and teach children with special needs helped shape Rick’s own career of learning, teaching, and finding creative solutions to problems. Rick majored in early childhood and elementary education, taught 4th grade and special education for a few years and became director, owner, and teacher of The Yellow Brick Road School, Inc., a preschool. That led to work at Gateway Community College, where within a year he became director of the learning assistance center. As director of the Learning Support Center and the Creative Commons at Paradise Valley Community College, he provided a warm, inviting learning environment to support the learning needs of students, staff, and faculty. Despite retirement in January 2010 from his responsibilities at PVCC—after more than 27 years in learning assistance, faculty training, and technology support—Rick continued to serve developmental education and learning assistance professionals with his expertise. Not until 2015 did he retire from his full-time unpaid work as Coordinator of CRLA's International Tutor Training Program Certification (ITTPC). He and Barbara moved to the Sierra Winds retirement community. At the time of his death, Rick was energetically updating LSCHE (Learning Support Centers in Higher Education), the Open Education Resource web portal he co-founded with Frank Christ in 1996 and for which he served as webmaster. After Frank’s death in 2012, Rick had undertaken a massive move of the LSCHE resources to a new WordPress site (2014) and continued to coordinate LSCHE’s renewal to best serve professionals in the field. Rick created for others the very “In Memoriam” pages on which this memorial to him now resides. Rick lived by the words, “no one of us is as smart as all of us.” He said that meant it was imperative “to build effective communication and synergy in solving problems and providing services.” His personal mission, he said, was to learn, grow, enjoy, and create—“to integrate a part of me into all that I do.” Mission accomplished, Rick. * * * Rick’s beloved wife, Barbara, has arranged a memorial service for him on Saturday, August 20, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Sierra Winds, their retirement home. Sierra Winds is located at 17300 North 88th Ave, Peoria, AZ. Memorials can be directed to Habitat for Humanity or The Gideons International. Cards and letters can be sent to Barbara Sheets at 17300 North 88th Avenue, Apt 172, Peoria, AZ 85382.

July 26, 2016, 2:14 am