ccDaily > Newsmakers



(From top)
Priscilla Bell,
Jannett Jackson,
Pamela Luster,
Thomas Mohr,
Penelope Wills,
Noreen Yamane
and Henry Yong

New CEOs

Jannett Jackson will become president of College of Alameda (California) on July 1. She is currently the college’s interim president. Jackson has more than 27 years of experience in support services, instruction and administrative areas within the California Community College system. Previously, she served as dean of the Learning Resources Center at Fresno City College. Jackson is also a retired colonel with the California Army National Guard and a veteran of the Persian Gulf and Iraqi wars.

Pamela Luster was named president of San Diego Mesa College in California, effective July 18. Currently, Luster serves as interim vice president at Las Positas College (California). Previously, she served as vice president of student service and dean of academic services at the college. Prior to Las Positas, Luster held several posts at West Valley College (California).

Penelope (Penny) Wills was named president named of Yavapai College in Arizona, effective Aug. 1. Currently, Wills is president of Northeast Iowa Community College. Previously, she served as vice president for student development at Georgia
Highlands College.

Noreen Yamane will serve as chancellor of Hawai‘i Community College (HCC), effective July 1. She has served as interim chancellor of the college since July 2010. Previously, Yamane was interim vice chancellor for academic affairs at the college and dean of instruction/assistant to the vice chancellor for academic affairs, where she led the update and revision of HCC’s strategic plan.

Henry Yong will join Evergreen Valley College (California) July 1 as its new president. Most recently, he served as vice president of instruction at Taft College (California) and dean of academic programs at Victor Valley Community College (California). At Taft, he increased enrollment in distance learning to meet the learning needs of working adult students. At Victor Valley, he advocated for the college to be a designated a Hispanic-serving institution.

CEO retirements

Priscilla Bell, president of North Idaho College (NIC), plans to retire June 2012, at the completion of her current contract. Bell was hired as interim president in 2007 before filling the position permanently five months later. She has led the college during a time of unprecedented enrollment growth and declining state support. Prior to joining NIC, Bell served as president of Highline Community College (Washington) from 2000 to 2006.

Thomas Mohr, president of Cañada College (California), will retire at the end of June, ending more than 50 years of service in public education. Mohr, 77, said the decision to retire was made so that he could spend more time with his family. Mohr was named interim president at the college in 2005 and president in 2007. Prior to joining Cañada, Mohr served as superintendent of the San Mateo Union High School District. At Cañada, Mohr helped guide the college and the San Mateo County Community College District through a comprehensive strategic planning and facilities planning process. He has worked to integrate the college with the local high schools and strengthen Cañada’s transfer programs.


Beth Adams is the new dean of enrollment and students services at Central Lakes College in Minnesota. Adams had been vice president of student services at Lake Superior College since 2000, and before that served as dean of students at Mesabi Range College in Virginia. She has 17 years of experience as chief student services officer on four different campuses in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Adam Hayashi is now dean of science and health careers at Oakton Community College in Illinois. He is currently dean of the College of Central Florida’s Citrus Campus. He started his career as an anatomy and physiology instructor at Grayson County College (Texas).

William Heineman is the new vice president of academic affairs at Northern Essex Community College (Massachusetts), effective July 1. Currently, he is dean of foundational studies and liberal arts and sciences at the college. Heineman started teaching part time in the college’s history and government department in 1996 and joined the faculty full time in 1998. 

Robert Hemsley Baer was named dean of students at Norwalk Community College (Connecticut). He comes from York College–City University of New York, where he served as director of academic advisement.  Previously, Baer served as an associate director for admission and advising at Towson University (Maryland).

James Johnson has been named athletic director at Pasco-Hernando Community College (Florida). He most recently served as head men’s basketball coach and athletic director at Philander Smith College in Arkansas.

Randall Kimmens has been named director of business and workforce development for the Maricopa County Community College District. He previously served as a dean in charge of workforce development programs at Glendale Community College for 12 years. Earlier in his career, he held administrative positions at Pima Community College and Arapahoe Community College (Colorado), among others.

Misty Opat, who has served this past year as Rock Valley College’s interim athletic director, is now the Illinois college’s full-time athletic director. Previously, Opat, an alumna of Garden City Community College (Kansas), was an assistant coach at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she also served as the recruiting coordinator.

At Aims Community College (ACC) in Colorado, Lee Ann Sappington was named director of institutional effectiveness and assessment, and Michael Hogan is now assistant director of facilities and operations. Hogan, an alumnus of Southwest Texas Junior College, previously served as a division manager for Ideal Homes in Oklahoma. Sappington, an ACC alumna, previous served as a senior analyst at the University of Northern Colorado.