Community education class at CAC’s Maricopa Center helping people master difficult conversations

By Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist

MARICOPA, Ariz. - Most people either avoid confrontations or relish them to a fault. That is why Central Arizona College's Community Education program is offering Difficult Conversations: Coping Strategies at CAC's Maricopa Center.

The class, taught by Thelma Irby, helps students discover coping strategies for dealing with difficult conversations, including selecting what works for you based on your strengths and avoiding blind spots and turnoffs. In the end, students will gain confidence when engaged in difficult conversations with a boss, spouse, children or friends.

The two-hour class will be held on Sat., April 9, from 9-11 a.m. The fee for the class is $25 per person.

Irby is currently an assistant principal within the Tempe Elementary School District. She has owned her own management consulting business and has served as regional director for the Illinois chapter of the National Education Association as well as a school counselor and high school teacher. She also has managed a human services division and wrote policy and procedure for human service issues in Oklahoma.

Possessing the knowledge, skills and abilities in the area of having difficult conversations has served Irby well over the years, specifically when she took the task of negotiating contracts for the teachers' union in Illinois.

Irby is a new resident in Maricopa and has a strong interest in getting involved with her community.

Students may register for this class through the city of Maricopa by logging on to or in-person at 45145 W. Madison Ave., Maricopa, AZ.

For more information, please contact Maria Billingsley at 520-316-6962 or Verl Long at 520-494-6405.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814