SFCC president candidates on their way

March 23, 2013

The two finalists to replace Marsha Drennon as president of State Fair Community College will share their visions with the college and the community April 2 and 3.

Steve Rook, vice president for Academic and Student Affairs for Rich Mountain Community College in Mena, Ark., will speak at 9 a.m. April 2. Joanna Anderson, vice president for Student Services for Casper College in Casper, Wyo., will speak at 9 a.m. April 3.

According to a news release, each candidate will make a presentation to the college community, the public and the SFCC board of trustees in the Thompson Conference Center in the Heckart Science and Allied Health Center.

Drennon will retire effective June 30. Gary Noland, board president and co-chair of the search committee, said the board hopes to make a final decision and make an offer by mid-April.

In a telephone interview, Anderson said during her visit she hopes “to give the community an understanding of my passion and love of working at community colleges.”

She worked 21 years at North Central Missouri College in Trenton in a variety of capacities, including admissions, student retention and public relations before joining the administration at Casper College. During her time in Wyoming she has gained “a ton of experience in everything from construction to campus safety,” she said.

Anderson wants people in SFCC’s 14-county service area to get a sense of her background and comprehensive work at community colleges.

“I know State Fair is a phenomenal college, and I see this as a great opportunity to meet the people there and see what they are really looking for,” she said.

Rook also cited his passion for community colleges and their ability “to change lives and change lives of generations.”

He believes he has “what it would take to be a president,” having 13 years’ experience as a senior leader in the community college setting and having served previously as interim president at Rich Mountain. He also has experience in both student and academic affairs.

“I want people to know that I want to be part of the community, part of the college and the greater community and all areas that State Fair Community College serves,” Rook said. “I want to take my vision to keep (SFCC) moving in the right direction. It has a great reputation with all of my colleagues, and I want to help take it to the next level.”

Two members of SFCC’s search committee, co-chair Ron Wineinger and Cara Barth-Fagan, recently visited the two candidates’ campuses to conduct additional interviews with colleagues, students and community members. In addition to the community forums, the SFCC board also will interview both candidates during their visits.

Anderson, who grew up in Missouri, is looking forward to meeting with business partners who look to SFCC to provide them with a trained workforce so they can be competitive.

“I am passionate about helping students get a college education, which is the best investment a person can make to have a productive future,” she said.

Rook is “excited about the opportunity to be one of two finalists for this position, and it is a community I feel it would be an honor to become a part of.”