It All Started Here … Susan Giubardo
NORTH EAST, Md. – The decision to attend college as an adult can be one of the scariest moments in a person’s life. The uncertainty. The financial burden. The unknown. These were just some of the emotions Susan Giubardo felt when she registered for classes at Cecil College after raising children for 20 years as a homemaker.
“It is a little scary coming back to college after 20 years; I didn’t know if I could do it. If I could wrap my brain around everything I was going to face,” said Giubardo, a life-long resident of Elkton.
Out of high school, Giubardo attended Colorado State University’s engineering program. During this time, she fell in love and didn’t complete her education. But that isn’t where her story ends.
“With my children getting ready to go to college, I needed to find a job. So I came to Cecil College to start the education program, and it was excellent. It was a confidence booster for me. After so many years of being out of school, I discovered I had a lot in common with the teachers. I was able to forge some relationships that helped me to succeed. I was pleased with the quality of instruction I received at Cecil,” said Giubardo.
Giubardo graduated from Cecil College with an associate degree in general studies and education. She went on to Wilmington College, as it was known then, for a general studies degree. With true grit and tenacity, she entered into the master’s program for education to become one of the first graduating classes from the renamed Wilmington University.
“The classes were more rigorous at Cecil College than those at Wilmington. The quality of instruction here was exceptional because they weren’t just teaching out of the book,” said Giubardo, who credits the instructors as her mentors to completing her work. “I was a much better writer than I had been when I first went to college. I had some more to stay because I had so much more life experience. My writing impressed people enough that I was nominated and won awards for it.”
The recognition came from her instructors, who realized she was a fulltime parent, student and holding down a job. During one semester, she missed several weeks of classes due to her son’s hospitalization. When she came back, she was determined to complete all the missed assignments and not to give up. “I got my caught up and was very successful in those classes.”
According to Giubardo, the nominations and awards “meant the world” to her for growing confidence. She even earned a scholarship that enabled her to attend Wilmington.
Upon completing her master’s program, she returned to Cecil County to work at the alternative school as a math instructor before moving over to Bohemia High School. She worked in the Cecil County Public School System until her retirement, but she wasn’t headed to a rocking chair. Bubbling with energy, she went to work for CCPS’s home and hospital program, visiting students in their homes who are unable to attend school due to medical reasons.
“It is the best part of teaching. You get to work one-on-one with children, and you get to help them,” said Giubardo, who joked about setting the bar pretty high for my children. “When I came back to college, I wasn’t sure my brain would do it. I found that my experience was valued and welcomed by the instructors.”
As the school year is coming to a close, she continues to be on the move working with her husband, owner of Waffle n’ Joe food truck.