May 25, 2023 By CDHD Happy retirement, Shawn Wright After 26 years with the University of Idaho and Idaho Training Clearinghouse (ITC), Shawn Wright will be retiring at the end of this month. Shawn has played an integral part of the ITC team as an Instructional Systems Designer. In fact, he built ITC’s online learning management system with Assistant Director, Cari Murphy. He has been a driving force in the project’s innovation and ability to continue to provide online professional development opportunities and resources to educators, support workers and families across Idaho. Before his retirement on May 31, we got the chance to catch-up for a quick Q and A about the last 26 years and what he’ll dive into next. When did you start at the University and ITC? Shawn: I began my journey at the University of Idaho in the fall of 1997. During my time there, I focused on training teachers at all grade levels in the use and integration of technology in the classroom. I traveled extensively, providing professional development sessions to numerous teachers in various locations, including Spokane, Plummer, Sandpoint, Post Falls, Kellogg, Coeur d'Alene, Spirit Lake, Rathdrum, Bonners Ferry, St. Maries and Kellogg. In the Summer of 2003, I was hired as the webmaster and technology guru [at the CDHD/ITC], specializing in multimedia development and design. Oh! It sounds like an interesting way to kick off your time here. What has been your favorite part of working in this role? Shawn: Without a doubt, it's the people. Throughout my tenure, I have had the privilege of collaborating with remarkable individuals at both the University and the CDHD. I've had the pleasure of working alongside caring, loving, and genuinely passionate professionals in fields such as special education, disabilities, diversity and interdisciplinary studies, assistive technologies, and accessibility. Whether it was with local, community, state or federal colleagues, everyone I've had the opportunity to work with has been a source of joy and inspiration. Do you have a favorite memory of your time with us? Shawn: The camaraderie among my colleagues stands out as my favorite memory. The people I've worked with are not only interesting but also caring and fun-loving. We've shared countless laughter-filled moments, and when the pandemic struck, we rallied together, connecting through online platforms like Zoom. While I could recount numerous amusing stories, one that comes to mind is the party at Jennifer Olson's place, where I entertained everyone with a rendition of a Frank Sinatra tune. It was a truly enjoyable experience. It’s great to work with such an amazing team, which you’ve been a big part of! What’s next? Do you have any retirement plans? Shawn: Absolutely! My top priority is spending more quality time with my grandchildren. I have Zen, my eight-year-old grandson, in DC, Reina, my four-year-old granddaughter, also in DC, Ella, my five-year-old granddaughter in Spokane, and Noah, my one-year-old grandson, also in Spokane. Family is of utmost importance to me. Additionally, I have travel plans, with France being a destination I look forward to exploring in the near future. I'm also excited about following the Zags back to Vegas (highly recommended!). Furthermore, I have a passion for music, specifically writing unique jazz ukulele arrangements. I intend to publish, sell, perform and even offer online lessons for this style. Stay tuned, as this will become a significant part of my immediate future. Lastly, I plan to delve into Szechuan cooking and continue my lifelong pursuit of learning new things. Thank you, Shawn, for the past 26 years of amazing work! We appreciate all the time, effort and expert knowledge you’ve brought to your role. We also appreciate the amazing memories you’ve helped us make during your time! Enjoy your well-earned time with your grandkids and we can’t wait to hear your new jazz arrangements.