WVC Graduate Buerster Heads IECC Human Resources Department
It was the spring of 1994, and a young lady, Tara Buerster, was preparing to graduate from Edwards County High School with plans to move to St. Louis, MO to attend pharmacy school. Many of her friends were attending the local community college, but she thought she wanted to move to a bigger city. However, there were other plans in store for her; and little did she know at the time, they were much better plans.
During the last half of her senior year, Tara’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and began to undergo treatment. Tara spent a lot of time caring for her mother and taking her to treatments over the summer, and she quickly realized that she could not leave her family. That fall, she enrolled at Wabash Valley College, attending as a transfer student pursuing her Associate in Science Degree. While at Wabash Valley College, Tara was active in Student Senate and Phi Theta Kappa, served as a Peer Counselor, and had the honor of being crowned Homecoming Queen her freshman year.
After graduating from WVC, Tara transferred to the University of Southern Indiana where she graduated cum laude in 1998 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Services. She began her career at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville. She enjoyed her work with Deaconess, but as she and her husband made plans to start a family, they both longed to move back to the Albion area, near family and to raise their children in a small-town atmosphere. Tara was hired by Illinois Eastern Community Colleges in the spring of 2000 to serve as the District’s Student Recruiter and was based at Wabash Valley College, her alma mater. It was a wonderful homecoming for Tara to be back on the campus where she started her college career. She eventually was promoted to Director of Human Resources over the entire IECC District and moved to her office in Olney, IL. In 2012 Tara graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Master’s in Education Degree in Human Resources Development.
Tara is about to begin her fourteenth year as an administrator for our local community college system, serving as the Director of HR, FOIA Officer, HLC Steering Committee Member, and Lead Negotiator for the District, while also teaching as an adjunct instructor for Olney Central College, teaching Human Resource Law, Performance Management and Medical Reimbursement. She has a passion for education and the community college system. Tara notes that WVC made a huge impact on her life, not only on hers, but also that of her sister, father, and husband, who are also WVC graduates. She feels that WVC gave her a great foundation as she started her higher education journey and has helped her to be very successful, not only as she transferred to USI and eventually the University of Illinois, but she feels that WVC gave her valuable tools that she uses daily in her work for the College District. Commenting on her job, Tara said….. “It’s an honor to work daily for our local higher education system that improves the lives of our students and community.”
Tara is married to Jayare Buerster and they have three daughters, Sydney, Hayley, and Jaycey.