Big Bend Community College names five candidates for president job

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MOSES LAKE — Four women and one man will be interviewed for the job of Big Bend Community College president beginning next week. College officials announced the five finalists Monday.

The candidates are: Suzanne Ames, currently an administrator at Lake Washington Institute of Technology; William Belden, administrator at Clark College, Vancouver; Maria del Rosario Flores, administrator at Wenatchee Valley College; Sara Thompson Tweedy, administrator at State University of New York, Westchester, in Valhalla, New York; and Teresa Rich, administrator at Yakima Valley College.

The new president will replace Terry Leas, who announced in July 2019 that he would retire at the end of the 2019-20 academic year.

Each candidate will visit BBCC for a day-long interview, which will include meetings with BBCC faculty and staff, a tour of Moses Lake and an interview with BBCC trustees. Each candidate will have dinner with the trustees, members of the BBCC Foundation board and Associated Student Body officers.

Trustees will hold a special meeting Feb. 6 to reduce the list of candidates, then conduct site visits and interviews with each finalist. Trustees plan to announce the new president by March 11.

Belden will visit campus Jan. 21. Currently he’s vice president of student affairs at Clark College. He has worked at Clark since 2010. Prior to that he was an administrator at Green River College, Auburn.

Flores is scheduled to be interviewed Jan. 22. Flores received her GED and associate degree from BBCC, and went on to study at Eastern Washington University. She has been at WVC since October 2015; currently she is vice president of student services and enrollment management.

Rich will be on campus Jan. 23. She has been vice president of administrative services at YVC for 13 years. Previously she worked as an accountant at Central Washington University in Ellensburg and as Kittitas County director of finance.

Ames will visit BBCC Jan 29. She has worked at Lake Washington Institute of Technology since 2015 and currently is vice president of instruction. Prior to taking her current job, she worked for the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, serving as communications director among other jobs. She also worked at Skagit Valley College and Pierce College.

Tweedy will be on campus Jan. 30. She is the vice president of student access, involvement and success at SUNY Westchester. Prior to that, she worked at SUNY Sullivan, in Loch Sheldrake, New York.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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