Concorde Blog - Mar 2, 2020
The current U.S. Department of Labor statistics indicates the average employee time served at a company is 4.2 years.
This quarter's feature story focusing on an outstanding alumna simultaneously salutes a Concorde associate whose service shatters that norm.
We're proud to introduce you to Concorde Jacksonville's Medical AssistantÂ alumna and instructor, Terri McKague, who is celebrating an amazing 32 years on the Concorde team this year!
A native Long Island, New- Yorker, Terri and her husband, John, relocated their young family to Florida in the 1970s for his job. After some years of excelling as a "domestic engineer" and taking care of the family household and raising children, Terri acknowledged her desire to return to the workforce.
"I decided I needed to go back to work because I was forgetting what it was like to talk to an adult," she quipped.
That's when an experience with a family health emergency introduced her personally to the medical field - and she was hooked. She enrolled as a non-traditional student in Concorde's Medical Assistant program and set out on a new path.
"I wondered what I was getting myself into because I was a good bit older than all my classmates," Terri said.
But she did it. She completed our Medical Assistant program in 1987 with three young children in tow and almost perfect attendance. She was hired by her externship and worked in several different positions after school, just "trying to find the right fit." Then the call came from Concorde for a role on our Graduate Employment Team.
"It was like a miracle falling from the sky," she said. And the rest is Concorde history!
Terri helped our students and alumni with finding their career paths on our Graduate Employment team for over eight years but eventually moved to the classroom when an opportunity for a Medical Office Professional instructor came open. She taught billing and coding in that program for a while, but then moved back into her originally intended career field of medical assisting as an instructor in our program. That eventually led to her becoming the Medical Assistant Program Director for the Jacksonville campus in 2004. Now she's back in the classroom and doing what she's loved most all these years.
"It feels like it was a blink of an eye," she said. "Every anniversary is a milestone because I love what I do. There is so much for students to learn about this career. Their minds can be like sponges - and I want to fill them!"
Terri is now the proud mother of three married adults and has one grandchild. She says it was her family who kept her relevant for her students all these years.
"My children were my resource. They helped me get through to the students
more easily. I always wanted to come to the classroom and have students think I was 'cool.' I hope that's how it has happened."
After such a long and successful career with one company, we had to ask Terri for her best advice for the next generation of aspiring health care professionals.
"Always have respect," she said. "Love what you do - because if you don't, it shows. Be committed to whatever it is you decide to pursue. And always give back!"
"My career with Concorde has allowed me to be myself. Traditional college was not for me, so I'm very satisfied with the path I took. It's been a great journey!"
We can only guess how many minds, lives and careers Terri's commitment and dedication have impacted and inspired during her career. What better means to convey appreciation for over 30 years of service than the words of the people she has influenced the most - her colleagues and her former students/fellow alumni:
"We are so proud to have Terri as a member of our instructional team. She inherently puts the students first and consistently goes above and beyond to ensure their success. A treasure and a valued member of our Concorde family!" - Melissa Ryan, Campus President
"She truly is the best part of the Medical Assistant program. This lady is amazing!" - Evelyn R., alumna
"I would go through the Medical Assistant program all over again just to be in Ms. McKague's class. She's the only reason I didn't give up in the beginning of my journey in medical assisting. She's a true example of a professional, empathetic and loving instructor!" - Jeanae C., alumna
"I have worked with Terri for 24 years at Concorde. She is a pleasure to work with and has always gone above and beyond for our students. Terri has a bright personality and disposition which makes being around her a pleasure for coworkers and students. I am proud to be considered a friend as well as a coworker." - Dorothy Pulver, Registrar
"Ms. McKague is AMAZING. She is very knowledgeable and professional and really cares about her students." - Veronica L., alumna
"I will never forget her from when I was in the program in 2008. She was always so amazing and kind!" - Melinda H., alumna
"Terri is an inspiration to all of us. She has held different positions within the company and is very knowledgeable. She has adapted to many changes through the growth of the company and has given support, motivation, and dedication to her coworkers and her students. She is a leader, confident and a mentor to many!" - Connie Miller, Medical Assistant Instructor
Editor's note: You can leave your own feedback on Terri's legacy on the Concorde Career College Facebook page, where she was recently featured in our national #ConcordeWorks social media alumni spotlight Series!