It’s great to be back in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky
When I was first approached about coming to Big Sandy Community and Technical College as the interim president, I thought about coming home.
The Big Sandy region is not exactly home for me, but it close enough. I spent my childhood in Bland County in the southwest Virginia. I worked early in my career at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College as dean of academic affairs and later at Ashland Community and Technical College where I was the president.
So, the mountains have called many times.
And I have answered each time.
The beauty of community and technical colleges are the intimate ties these institutions have in the community. It’s much more than simply a handful of campuses and a series of buildings. Colleges, like Big Sandy, are working on the frontlines of so many issues such as higher education and degree attainment, workforce development training, and economic development. In addition that that, our employees, many of whom have ties to the region, are working with non-profit and civic organizations assisting in community development efforts and other worthwhile causes.
That’s what inspire me to become a professor and to spend my life’s work in higher education.
Over the coming months, my role will be to sustain our momentum, and to hand the torch over to a permanent president that will write the next chapter of this storied and influential institution.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy being back in the mountains. Readjusting to small-town life. Enjoying the little things, because they are indeed the most important things. And getting to know you, the people of the Big Sandy region.
– Dr. Tony Newberry is interim president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College