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A Passion for Education

Hagman Family

“Sometimes I hear NIC called the gem of North Idaho. I think it is also the heart of North Idaho,” says Anne Hagman, NIC Foundation Board Director, donor and long-time community member. “Everyone in the community has benefited from North Idaho College in some way.”

Anne’s connection to NIC extends back nearly 30 years when she first moved to the Coeur d’Alene area from Hawaii. She organized training courses with the NIC Workforce Training Center for the employees of Crown Pacific where she worked. She took a sailing class and enjoyed Art on the Green on the beautiful NIC campus. She had the opportunity to interact with college presidents, faculty and staff in her various public relations positions in the community through the years.

“I’ve seen firsthand the value of the college,” Anne says. “NIC is a reflection of the community and there is something for all. The people at NIC make it great – they are your neighbors. NIC is the custodian of the beautiful grounds and beaches; there are classes and events. Look at what we have here!”

In the past few years, Anne and her husband Gary have experienced NIC in a new way as parents of a student. Their son, James, began taking dual credit courses at Coeur d’Alene High School when he was a sophomore. Then in fall 2020, during the difficult days of COVID lockdowns, James began taking hybrid math classes at NIC through the dual credit program.

“Coming to NIC four days a week really helped me keep my sanity during those days,” James says. He is impressed with how NIC responded to the challenges of the pandemic. “I never heard my professors complain about having to change up the way classes were taught. They were so positive and well prepared. There was flexibility to attend class in person or remotely as needed.”

James says he was excited to focus on his passion – math. His courses included advanced algebra and three levels of geometry and calculus.

“Taking courses at NIC allowed me to take higher level math classes than I could in high school. My math professors were great,” James says, naming NIC faculty Ben Tschida, Carrie Gibson and Matt O’Dell specifically.

From the parent perspective, Anne says it was wonderful.

“I had a happy kid! He was being challenged. It expanded his opportunities,” Anne says.

James graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School in June 2022 and has 20 credits from NIC that will transfer with him to University of Idaho where he plans to pursue a degree in electrical engineering.

“I believe in everything the college is doing,” Anne says. “I appreciate NIC’s commitment to providing affordable education for our area. There is something for everyone at NIC — find your something!”

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