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2023 - Take Five with…Kathleen DeMars

Tags: Faculty Profile
Published 10/13/2023
Kathleen DeMars, instructor of adult basic education

Kathleen DeMars, instructor of adult basic education

Growing up east of New York City on the north shore of Long Island, Kathleen DeMars, instructor of adult basic education, became a Midwesterner back in 2005. After teaching at Waubonsee Community College for seven years, she moved to ECC in 2022. 

As an adult education math teacher, she’s learned resilience and strength from her students. She has a special message for other ECC faculty: “If you find a student in your classroom who has matriculated from our adult basic education program, you can feel confident that they have their eyes on a meaningful goal and value the time they will spend in your classroom,” said DeMars.

Currently living in Aurora with her family and two cats, DeMars has some unique travel dreams and, if you’re traveling to New York, can share a tasty, $1 meal suggestion. Read on to learn more about DeMars!

Where is the best place you’ve traveled, or where is somewhere you dream of going, and why? I dream of visiting the Kingdom of Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayan Mountains next to Nepal. It’s a challenging place to visit because of its location and because it is necessary to participate in a guided tour to be allowed to visit. The government does this to prevent tourism from detracting from Bhutan’s culture and ecosystem.

Along with protecting its community and environment, Bhutan has a happiness index. Much like we measure GDP and unemployment, Bhutan uses happiness to assess success. I am so curious to see a place with this set of values ingrained into its culture, and I am also certain that it must be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

The best place I’ve visited depends on the day you ask me. I truly believe that travel is one of the only things you can buy that makes you richer. My favorite destinations are Scotland and Montauk, New York; I’ve often returned to both locations.

What’s one thing that really makes your day? At work, it is having a class that exceeds expectations where everyone is engaged, getting it, and having fun! That feels great! Outside of work, it’s having plans to spend time with close friends and family at home.

What is your favorite meal to cook or favorite dish to eat out? My favorite dish to eat out is Kung Pao Chicken from Shanghai Terrace in Chicago or $1 street pizza in Manhattan. My favorite meal is anything I bake with my littlest kiddo, Abbie.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, whom would it be and why? I’d like to have dinner with all my ancestors who immigrated to the United States from Europe. I want to know why they left, what they hoped America would bring for them, and —  assuming they know how it turned out for our family — if they’d do it again.