At the League for Innovation in the Community College annual meeting in New York City: (from left) Jerry Sue Thornton, president emeritus of Cuyahoga Community College; American Association of Community Colleges President and CEO Walter Bumphus; and John Roueche, nationally recognized authority in community college education.


Jerry Sue Thornton, president emeritus of Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio, this week received the John Roueche/Terry O’Banion Leadership Award at the League for Innovation in the Community College’s annual meeting in New York City.

CEO retirements

Jowel Laguerre, chancellor of the Peralta Community College District in California, has announced that he will retire March 1. Most recently under Laguerre’s leadership, the district saw the passage last fall of two measures for improvements to district colleges. The first was a $864 million bond proposal to fix facilities and for new construction, including a new library at Laney College. The second was to extend the current $48 per parcel tax to supplement funding for core academic programs. A native of Haiti, Laguerre began his tenure as chancellor in 2015. Previously, he was superintendent/president of Solano Community College, from 2009 to 2015. At Solano, Laguerre led the college in a successful bond campaign that raised $348 million for new facilities and a veterans’ center. Over his career, Laguerre also was vice president for academic affairs at Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada, and executive vice president for academic and student services at Montgomery College in Maryland. He has also held a number of academic and student services positions at Lake Superior College in Minnesota.


Kelly Collingsworth is now career services coordinator at Savannah Technical College in Georgia. She previously was a marketing and sales coordinator for Savannah Quarters, outreach coordinator for the Office of Sustainability at Johns Hopkins University and served as executive director of Keep Bulloch Beautiful.

Amy Garawitz is now director of alumni engagement for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Previously, she was senior director of alumni engagement at The New School and associate director for regional affairs at Princeton University.

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