Snohomish County Career Fair - September 10
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New EdCC president values the school's culture

  • Edmonds Community College's incoming president Jean Hernandez (left) talks to student Nicole Allen-Thomas at a college holiday event on Friday.

    Doug Ramsay / For The Herald

    Edmonds Community College's incoming president Jean Hernandez (left) talks to student Nicole Allen-Thomas at a college holiday event on Friday.

  • Edmonds Community College’s incoming President Jean Hernandez talks to students and staff as Albee Abigania watches at a school holiday event on Frida...

    Doug Ramsay / For The Herald

    Edmonds Community College’s incoming President Jean Hernandez talks to students and staff as Albee Abigania watches at a school holiday event on Friday.

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By Katie Murdoch
For The Herald
Published:
  • Edmonds Community College's incoming president Jean Hernandez (left) talks to student Nicole Allen-Thomas at a college holiday event on Friday.

    Doug Ramsay / For The Herald

    Edmonds Community College's incoming president Jean Hernandez (left) talks to student Nicole Allen-Thomas at a college holiday event on Friday.

  • Edmonds Community College’s incoming President Jean Hernandez talks to students and staff as Albee Abigania watches at a school holiday event on Frida...

    Doug Ramsay / For The Herald

    Edmonds Community College’s incoming President Jean Hernandez talks to students and staff as Albee Abigania watches at a school holiday event on Friday.

LYNNWOOD — Edmonds Community College will soon welcome its first female president in the college's 43-year history.
The EdCC Board of Trustees last week appointed Jean Hernandez to the position. She is expected to start Jan. 1.
She is replacing retiring president Jack Oharah, who has served in the job since 1996.
Hernandez is currently the vice president for instruction at South Seattle Community College. Her career in higher education has spanned nearly 30 years. At South Seattle, Hernandez has served as interim president and vice chancellor for the college.
Once seated, Hernandez said she wants to get to know staff, faculty, students and the EdCC's culture, which she perceives as student-focused.
“I want to be respectful of their culture,” she said. “I really value their beliefs.”
She was drawn to the college largely based on the praise her colleagues who have worked at EdCC shared of the school's programs and employees.
“The international program is really solid, the school has strong partnerships with the community,” she said. “It's a very comprehensive college.”
Another top issue is tackling the college's budget.
“I'll get in there, roll up my sleeves and see if there are other possibilities to look at to make reductions and listen to what's been done,” she said.
Hernandez's credentials helped her rise above the other candidates, said Mauri Moore, board of trustees vice-chairwoman.
Moore said she was looking for a candidate with strong leadership skills to lead the college through the next decade, which she anticipates to be filled with changes.
Hernandez's time serving as an interim president and her experience in education means she understands the system from all angles, Moore said. Additionally, Hernandez is a good listener and is great with people.
“She's rock solid, she has a quiet strength,” Moore said.
Hernandez's community college career began at Shoreline Community College as a multicultural studies teacher. She was later promoted to dean of Health Occupations and Physical Education.
Afterward, she served as executive vice president for student learning at Cascadia Community College. While there, she served as the accreditation liaison officer to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Hernandez also served in leadership roles with the Washington state community and technical college system and worked in university environments in human resources, admissions and career services.
Hernandez received her doctorate of education from the University of Washington and her masters of education and a bachelor of science from the University of North Texas.
The national search for a new college president began last spring and involved college students and employees and community members.
“(Hernandez's) breadth of experience and long- standing commitment to education and student success will be an asset to the college,” said board chairwoman Emily Yim in a statement.
Story tags » Edmonds Community College

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