Community and technical college trustees pick 6 for association award
OLYMPIA — The Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) tonight will honor five people and one organization who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the state's 34 community and technical colleges. The winners are:
- Trustee Leadership Award: Joanne Schwartz, trustee, Centralia College
- Chief Executive Officer Award: Dr. Tim Stokes, president, South Puget Sound Community College
- Partner of the Year Award: Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, nominated by Wenatchee Valley College
- Equity Award: Maria Peña, chief diversity and equity officer, Everett Community College
- Faculty Member Award: Alma Meza, basic studies faculty member, Renton Technical College
- Professional Staff Member Award: Patty Allen, director of Head Start and district director of EHS-ECEAP, Community Colleges of Spokane
"This is an outstanding group, and I'm happy we have an opportunity to recognize them for their hard work," said Diana Clay, trustee at Edmonds Community College and chair of the ACT Awards Committee. "It's clear Washington's community and technical colleges — the faculty, the staff, and most importantly, the students — are supported throughout the state, and that's something we should all be proud of."
The award winners will be recognized at the ACT Spring Conference dinner tonight in Vancouver.
Community and technical college boards of trustees submit nominations to ACT. An association committee selects the winners for each category.
Below is an excerpt from each award winner's nomination:
- Trustee Leadership Award winner Joanne Schwartz, nominated by the Centralia College Board of Trustees: "The Chehalis Foundation, of which Ms. Schwartz is a co-founder, is the primary supporter of the Chehalis Student Achievement Initiative, a partnership between the Chehalis School District and Centralia College aimed at assuring 60 percent of Chehalis high school graduates earn a college credential."
- Chief Executive Officer Award winner Dr. Tim Stokes, nominated by the South Puget Sound Community College Board of Trustees: "Dr. Timothy Stokes is one of the most compassionate and caring leaders in our community. It is a leadership style and approach that is valued, appreciated, and very much desired. Dr. Stokes’ caring attitude includes going the extra mile to help others succeed and supporting those he works with."
- Partner of the Year Award winner Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, nominated by the Wenatchee Valley College Board of Trustees: "Colville Tribes' role in building support for community and technical colleges is clear. Testimonials from both students and employers demonstrate this to be true. Colville Tribes' dedication to develop, improve and promote higher education offerings has made a significant impact in a very short time frame."
- Equity Award winner Maria Peña, nominated by the Everett Community College Board of Trustees: "Her accomplishments throughout the course of the past four years, particularly their impact on people of color, undocumented and refugee communities, Muslims, the LGBTQIA+ community, women, low income, first generation students, and persons with disabilities is far beyond words."
- Faculty Member Award winner Alma Meza, nominated by the Renton Technical College Board of Trustees: "Alma Meza has been teaching since she volunteered to help tutor classmates in her home country of Mexico. She is an inspiring, creative, and successful teacher because of her belief in the power of education and her love for helping students."
- Professional Staff Member Award winner Patty Allen, nominated by the Community Colleges of Spokane Board of Trustees: "Patty is the unique person who believes in moving mountains to provide care and support to an individual child, while still having a manager’s perspective of simultaneously building the program infrastructure to serve nearly 2,000 vulnerable children each year."