Much has changed since Carole Bost began working at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education on May 2, 1966.
Back then, all offices and classrooms were located in the Cathedral of Learning. Paperwork was processed on typewriters and mimeograph machines. There was no email. The internet was still a prototype. The University’s dress code required women employees to wear dresses or skirts. Pants were prohibited.
Bost started as an administrator in the school’s old business education department. The department taught teachers how to teach typing and shorthand. Her starting pay was just under $300 a month.
Fifty-four years later, many things are different at Pitt (including the paychecks). However, one thing has remained constant throughout Bost’s tenure at the school — her fond feelings for the Pitt School of Education.
“I have a real love for the School of Education and the people in it,” says Bost. “Here I am as a senior citizen, and I started working here as a teenager. It’s always been about Pitt for me and my family.”
Bost, the school’s director of financial operations, will retire at the end of this month. She is one of 18 faculty and staff at the school — including faculty member Roger Klein (51 years of service) — who are retiring this year. Pitt is offering a voluntary early retirement package for the first time since 2012, and some of the school’s employees are participating in it.
The Pitt School of Education honored all 2020 retirees in a virtual retirement gathering on Tuesday, September 29. The event was held over Zoom due to the COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings.
“I’m going to miss the people so much. I loved my job,” says Bost.
A Great Employee, an Even Better Person
Faculty and staff colleagues say they will miss working with Bost.
After all, not only did she understand the school’s systems inside and out, she also cared deeply about what was happening in the lives of her colleagues.
“It is extremely rare to have a staff member work in the same school or unit at one university for over 54 years, but Carole Bost did, and she did it fabulously,” says Valerie Kinloch, the school’s Renée and Richard Goldman Dean.
“Throughout her dedicated service to our School of Education, Carole made significant improvements to our fiscal operations and she also formed lifelong friendships with so many faculty, staff, and students. Undoubtedly, Carole is an amazing human being, and I have cherished our time together at Pitt. She is one of the most kind, thoughtful, inspiring, warm, and downright honest people to ever walk the halls of Posvar, and I am grateful to know her and to have worked with her,” says Kinloch.
Faculty member Rick Donato marvels at Bost’s mastery of complex administrative procedures and generosity of character. They began working together in 1989, when she was the administrator in the Department of Instruction and Learning (DIL), which recently became the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading.
“Qualities that come to mind when I think of Carole Bost are her unending commitment to the school and to her work, a deep knowledge about complex administrative procedures, and a generosity of her time and talent for helping others,” says Donato.
Bost worked as the department administrator of DIL from 1986 to 2008.
Faculty member Anthony Petrosky says “her smart financial oversight earned her a stellar reputation in that department and across the school.” Those attributes led to her taking on the additional responsibilities as the school’s financial administrator and then the director of financial operations.
“To this day, Carole’s financial clarity and transparency, like her honesty and straightforwardness, continue to be hallmarks of our school,” says Petrosky, who is also the co-director of Pitt’s Institute for Learning.
Rochelle Woods, senior assistant dean of administration, operations, and academic programs, credits Bost for being a champion for embracing change at the school.
By Bost’s count, during her time at Pitt, there have been six different Pitt chancellors, six Pitt School of Education deans, multiple large-scale renovations of the school’s space in Wesley W. Posvar Hall, and a schoolwide reorganization implemented in 2020 that reconfigured the school’s academic departments.
“Carole is the best finance director I’ve worked with,” says Woods. “She’s great at her job, adaptable to change, and is always warm, friendly, and welcoming. She is generous with her time and expertise and is patient in helping others learn. Carole truly cares about the school and is dedicated to Pitt.”
It’s a Family Affair
Of all of her work colleagues, no one knows her better than her son, Thomas Bost.
As the school’s director of grants, Thomas Bost has worked with his mother the past several years. Their offices are next to each other in Posvar Hall.
“She is a great role model for me as an employee. She has a lead-by-example mentality. I was fortunate to see her as a mother when not at work and as a colleague when at work,” says Thomas Bost.
The love of Pitt runs deep in the family. Both Thomas Bost (finance and accounting) and his twin brother Todd (sociology) earned degrees from Pitt.
Todd Bost even went so far as to paint his living room walls the color of the Pitt royal blue.
Their Pitt pride can be traced back to their mother.
Carole Bost is sad that her career journey is coming to an end, but will treasure the memories. She enjoyed all of the birthday gatherings, the new back-to-school welcome events at the Falk Laboratory School, and starting every school-wide meeting with everyone reading the school’s new mission-vision statement.
“I’m a hugger. I’m going to miss giving everybody a hug before I say goodbye. I feel like I’ve given a lot to Pitt through my job, but I’ve also gotten a lot back,” says Bost.
Bost's Legacy Lives On
During the retirement gathering, Dean Kinloch made a surprise announcement about the creation of the Carole Ann Bost Staff Development Fund.
This new fund will provide financial support to staff members who want to deepen their commitments to equity, justice, and diversity while enhancing their job performance. It will also provide financial support to staff members who have an immediate need or an unexpected emergency that presents a hardship.
In addition to naming the fund in Carole’s honor to ensure that she will always remain a part of the school, Dean Kinloch donated initial seed money to the fund.
If you would like to make your own contribution to this fund, then click here and be sure to designate your gift to the “Staff Development Fund in the School of Education.”
Honoring Our 2020 School of Education Retirees
2020 School of Education Retirees
Faculty/Years of Service
Jerry Longo (14 years)
Carl Fertman (38 years)
Diana Knoll (20 years)
Cynthia Popovich (21 years)
Jean Ferketish (25 years)
Cynthia Tananis (26 years)
Fredric Goss (37 years)
Roger Klein (51 years)
Staff/Years of Service
Terry McCoy (13 years)
Diane Casile-Gross (17 years)
Linda Semler (17 years)
Debbie Smail (19 years)
Jacqueline Ann Wesche-Thobaben (20 years)
Donna Priore (23 years)
Ann Flaherty (28 years)
Susan Mastorovich (32 years)
Rebecca Danchenko (36 years)
Carole Bost (54 years)