Senior Secretary dies in hospital

Andrew Fergin, Editor-in-Chief

Joyce Skaryak, Senior Secretary of Learning Resources and Instructional Support died Oct. 17 at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Mission Valley of a brief illness.

Born in Upland, Calif., Skaryak joined Mesa College in 1974. She held a number of positions including Classified Staff President. Skaryak always applied herself to the fullest.

Men’s basketball head coach Ed Helscher remembers first meeting Skaryak on a Classified Staff Sub-Committee. “She works very, very hard, you know, to help the people around her. And she was always willing to do anything that the committee needed,” said Helscher.

Though many like Helscher remember Skaryak for how fully she applied herself to her work, what characterized Skaryak was her habit of going a step beyond what was required of her.

“She always wanted to be involved in something,” recounted William Craft, Dean of Learning Resources and Technology, to whom Skaryak served as a secretary.
“For instance, if I went on travel for four or five days, she didn’t just sit out there and read magazines. She would come up with some project to be involved with that would be useful for the college,” said Craft.

Possessed of immense tenacity, Skaryak never faltered in performing her duties, even as her health deteriorated. “She really was determined, right up till the day that she was admitted to the hospital,” said Craft. “She was in it right up to the end. She was planning on going out and doing a book sale this semester, even though she was going around on a walker.”

Even after her death, Skaryak’s dedication to Mesa College can be found. Craft recalled, “We were cleaning out her desk here and we found a little cash box.” The cash box was for the book drive.