John and Judy McInerney – “Adding” to Sandhills’ Success
Judy and John McInerney both arrived in the early 1970s to teach math
at Sandhills Community College…and recently they both retired. In
between was more than 40 years of teaching, of changing lives, of
sharing their love of math and learning.
“So many students were afraid of math so I loved showing them how
math can be understood,” says Mrs. McInerney, who admits she spent
as much time working with students during office hours as she did in the
classrooms. “Teaching here enabled me to make a difference in lives.”
The couple had both earned their master’s degree in math at UNC-Chapel
Hill. Mr. McInerney accepted a position at Sandhills right away and two
years later his new bride moved to Southern Pines and joined the faculty.
The McInerneys’ students have been a diverse group. “We’ve taught
students ranging from those taking developmental math classes to those
who needed a strong math background to earn a four-year degree in
engineering,” reports Mr. McInerney, whose classes included Calculus III.
“I always told students they could go on to earn the same four-year
degree as others but their first two years were at a bargain price,”
Mrs. McInerney points out.
When the couple started teaching, there were just three buildings on
campus. They’ve enjoyed watching Sandhills grow. “We were lucky to
have just two presidents at Sandhills: Dr. Raymond Stone and Dr. John
Dempsey,” points out Mr. McInerney. “These two have different styles but
both are excellent leaders.”
Did the McInerneys enjoy being on the same faculty? “We always got the
same vacation,” Mr. McInerney says with a chuckle. His wife adds, “When
you want to talk math, the other one is interested in what you are saying.”
The McInerneys are still seen around campus. “We’re frequently
back here, to visit friends, enjoy the library and walk in the
beautiful gardens,” Mrs. McInerney says.
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