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Susan Smith

Instructor, Reading Department

West Valley Community College

  • Reading Department chair
  • Coordinator of the Reading Skills Lab
  • Instructor of developmental reading programs
  • College instructor since Fall 2000


Email icon susan_smith@westvalley.edu

Courses Taught at West Valley



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Additional Background Information

Personal Interests: I confess to being a compulsive reader. I love browsing in cool bookstores such as Printers, Inc. in Palo Alto and Mountain View and The Booksmith in Haight Ashbury. With “on-line” bookstores, I don't even have to leave home. Some of my favorite books are A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, Beloved by Toni Morrison. I also like to read mysteries, especially those with interesting heroines.
When I'm not reading, I enjoy hiking and bicycle riding. I especially enjoy the Stephen's Creek Trail and the bayshore trail. Here I can combine exercise with observing nature's choreography as I watch all kinds of birds.
Of course, I also enjoy exploring wine and the foods that go with it. I like to cook and enjoy pairing food and wine.

Family: I am married and the mother of two grown children. My husband, a chemist by training, worked in the medical field until his retirement. He now consults with companies engaged in blood glucose monitoring for people with diabetes. My daughter works at a preschool while attending Foothill College. In her spare time she writes promotional material for rock bands for the Internet and promotes them locally. My son graduated from Chico State University and works as a website director for a software company. My husband and I own and operate a small winery in the Sierra Foothills in the tiny town of Fair Play, CA. Like many places in the foothills, Fair Play was a boom town during the Gold Rush. Now the gold is in the soil that produces premium grapes for ten local wineries. Its laid-back pace is a wonderful contrast to the Bay Area.

Education: I received a B.A. degree in English with a minor in French from Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, and a M.Ed. with an emphasis in Reading from Kutztown University, Kutztown, Pennsylvania. I have taken additional graduate courses in English at Butler University and Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Teaching Experience: I began my teaching career teaching high school English in my hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, and then in Rantoul, Illinois. After raising a family, I began working in various community colleges, teaching reading and writing for students who are preparing for college work. Since moving to California in 1988, I have worked at DeAnza College, San Jose City College, Mission College and now at West Valley. I enjoy working with community college students because students at this level are motivated to learn. I see myself as a coach who can help my students achieve their goals.

Some of my favorite Websites

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revised December 5, 2000
by Susan Smith, e-mail address: susan_smith@westvalley.edu

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