Wills’ also says it may put pressure on Prescott; Difference is strong Verde Leadership and overall Cooperation
President Penelope Wills was no doubt surprised by the huge enrollment on the Verde Campus for this year’s College for Kids summer program of over “1,000” students. By comparison, there were only 354 students enrolled on the Prescott side where there is double the population.
Wills noted when she spoke to the District Governing Board at its June 13, 2017 meeting that the program was not run in the Verde Valley two years ago when the College staff person in charge quit shortly before the program was to begin. Wills may have forgotten that three years ago the program also did not operate in the Verde Valley.
Wills heaped praise on College staff member Linda Buchanan but failed to mention by name the outstanding leaders behind the program in the Verde Valley. She also failed to recognize the thousands of dollars contributed by the public schools in the Verde Valley that made the program accessible to the students.
The outstanding leadership provided by the Verde Valley came in the form of principal Heather Wacker and superintendents Barbara U’Ren and Steve King along with splendid cooperation from Verde Campus Executive Dean James Perey. While many others contributed to the program, they were the key to the program’s success. The schools in the Verde Valley contributed an estimated $20,000 to the program for transportation, meals, along with staff to supervise the project.
The program illustrates just how successful an educational endeavor in the Verde Valley can be when there is cooperation and strong leadership. For some, it also strongly suggests that the Verde Valley could operate a successful community college on its own.
The statement made by Wills’ about the program at the Governing Board meeting follows below.