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Former SFCC Broadcasting Teacher Remembered

Courtesy of Spokesman-Review

On Saturday, a memorial service will be held for a former Spokane community college teacher who played a small role in the history of Spokane Public Radio.

Richi Caldwell spent more than 40 years as an instructor at Spokane Falls Community College. She spent the last 10 or so teaching in the speech department, but her real niche was training budding broadcasters.

Mark Doerr: “The program was technically two years and so you had students for a long time. You got to know them really well," said Mark Doerr, Caldwell’s colleague in the broadcast program.

One of Caldwell’s students was Tom Lee. He met her in 1970, right out of high school, back in the day when the college operated a low-power FM station on campus.

“Her radio station, first it was KSCC, then KSFC, gave us an opportunity to work on  a real radio station, small as it was, but then to use everything she taught us right on the air," he said.

Lee parlayed that experience into a broadcasting career in Spokane.

“She really treated the students as friends and encouraged us. It was a tremendous opportunity from a woman who was just really dedicated to her students and our future success," he said.

Besides Tom Lee, Caldwell taught many current and former media personalities in Spokane, including some who work at Spokane Public Radio.

Her teaching in broadcasting ended in the mid-1990s when the college dropped its broadcasting program and transferred the license for KSFC to Spokane Public Radio, which operates the station at FM 91.9.

The memorial service for Richi Caldwell will be held Saturday afternoon at 1 at St. John’s Episcopal Church.