GCCCD board elects Garrett chair; Hiel and Justeson take seats

EL CAJON, California (Press Release) –The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board has selected Bill Garrett for an unprecedented fourth term as board president. His first official action at Tuesday night’s meeting was to swear in re-elected trustee Greg Barr and new trustees Edwin Hiel and Debbie Justeson.

The two new trustees, who along with Barr won their seats in the November election, were welcomed by their colleagues, fellow board members and district administrators.

 “We’re delighted to have you – it is a wonderful thing to be celebrating,” said Chancellor Cindy L. Miles.

Miles said the governing board faces a daunting task of serving the district’s 30,000 students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges during the most challenging state budget crisis in the history of the district.

 “I am confident that the commitment of our board members will serve this district well as difficult decisions are made with utmost deliberation and fairness,” she said.

Citing Garrett’s experience as the senior member of the governing board and his effectiveness at the helm, Barr nominated Garrett as president. Barr was then named board vice president and Mary Kay Rosinski as board clerk.

Praising what he called a very positive relationship developed over the years with administration, faculty and staff, Garrett said a spirit of cohesiveness in the district is important  in these times of economic hardship.

“I think there’s an opportunity to move the district forward in a very cooperative fashion,” Garrett said. “There’s a willingness to work together to resolve these issues for the students of Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.”

First appointed to the board in 2004, Garrett was elected to a two-year term in 2006 and to a four-year term in 2008. The former El Cajon city manager and past president of the Cuyamaca College Foundation has also served as a member of the college district’s Proposition R Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.

Heil’s experience with community colleges stem from his years as an adjunct counselor at Cuyamaca College from 1999 to 2002, a counselor for international students at Grossmont College from 2000 to 2004, and as a counselor/associate professor since then at San Diego City College.

“I’m very committed to the role of community colleges as a service to our residents,” he said. “I have a depth of understanding of how community colleges operate that I will strive to apply openly and fairly.”

Justeson has been a part-time math instructor at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges for 11 years and also teaches for the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University.

“One of my goals is to work with the board and move Grossmont-Cuyamaca into a positive direction even in hard times,” she said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues at Grossmont College and Cuyamaca College.”

The governing board holds its regular meetings on the third Tuesday of each month. Meetings start at 5:30 p.m., with board members going into closed session and reconvening at 6:30 p.m. open session. The board meets at ­­Griffin Gate in Building 65 at Grossmont College in even-numbered months (February, April, June, August, October and December) and at the student center at Cuyamaca College in alternate months.

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Preceding provided by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

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