The director of the Academic Center for Writing at Mountain View Colleges is a difficult guy to pin down. Ask him about his daily schedule and you’re likely to hear a response describing the multitude of meetings he has. Quite possibly, he is about to be late. “I’m on so many committees, some I started myself” he says. That is quintessential Luke Story, a man who is dedicated to his job and passionate about the students he serves.
With a Masters in Rhetoric and Composition as well as years of experience teaching English and ESL, Story was looking to make a career of educating others. However, he hasn’t always found work in education. As late as 2012, Story worked in the business world as a Financial Analyst, a job he did not like. Story recounts that he worked “long enough to know it wasn’t for me.”
Story tells the tale of a significant phone call he received from the former director of the ACW, Kevin Williams, while on his way to work one auspicious day. The anecdote goes that Mr. Williams contacted him about his interest in a part-time tutoring position. It was an opportunity to get back into teaching and education. He accepted immediately and hasn’t looked back.
The draw of his initial position as a Writing Specialist was the concept at the foundation of the ACW, enhancing students’ ability to write. “The appeal was to make better writers” he explains. The concept resonated with him and he wanted to dive in and get right to work. “I saw it as a place for unlimited potential” Story says. Now, it’s his job to put the ACW in a place to maximize that potential.
The passing of Kevin Williams was a devastating blow to Mountain View students, faculty and staff. In the aftermath, there was a void at the position of director of the ACW, a vacancy that Story felt he could fill. “It was the hardest decision to make, applying for the Director job” Story says.
Story is reflective about Kevin Williams, choosing his words carefully. Sitting in Mr. Williams’ old office, Story’s 6’4 frame seems cramped.
“Kevin was my mentor” he says. There is a noticeable pause. “Everyone loved Kevin; those are huge shoes to fill.”
Yet, Story is more than equal to the task. He has a plan to expand the reach and breadth of the ACW through programs, publications and activities created to meet students where they are and help them improve.
From the student-centric literary publication, Lion’s Roar, and the Kevin Williams Writer’s Lounge, to the Culture of Writing Festival that took place during Spring Semester, the horizon is bright with potential.
As Story lists off the events and activities he has planned, a palpable energy radiates from him. His passion is obvious and his vision reflects that passion. “Our resources are phenomenal … there is so much more that can be done” he says. He is correct even though it will require long hours of work. Though, if Story sees it that way, it doesn’t show.“I like to stay busy. Now, I stay busy doing something I love” he says