The Temple College Board of Trustees, in a special called board meeting on Monday, announced the names of the finalists for the president’s position at the college.
The three finalists were selected from a field of 70 applicants. They are: Deana Sheppard, Christina Ponce, and Mark Smith.
After 10 years at TC, President Glenda Barron announced in February her plans to retire at the end of the year. The position will become vacant Dec. 31, 2018.
“We have made progress,” Barron said of the college during her tenure.
Barron said she’d like to see the trustees elect a president that will move TC forward in a way that never occurred to her.
“I think we’re in good shape,” she said. “Financially, we’re sound. We’ve got good programs with plans on how to expand those programs. We offer programs that result in our students getting decent jobs. We’ve been blessed.”
Each potential college president candidate will be interviewed for the position with the first candidate’s interview starting Monday and the final interview set for Wednesday.
Each candidate will tour TC’s Hutto and Taylor campuses the afternoon prior to the day their interviews are scheduled.
Ponce will be interviewed Monday, Smith on Tuesday and Sheppard on Wednesday.
The candidates will meet with Barron and the TC Executive Leadership Cabinet. Additionally, they will tour TC campus, the community and the surrounding area.
A forum for the community, faculty and staff will be held 2:30-4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday in the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center on the TC campus.
The board of trustees will interview the candidates at 6 p.m. each day of the visits during executive sessions.
The person selected as president is expected to be named following a 21-day waiting period.
* Ponce has served as executive vice president at Lee College in Baytown since 2016 and was vice president of Student Success, Workforce and Resource Development at Lee College from 2014-16. Prior to that, Ponce was the executive director of the El Paso Community College Foundation from 2009-14. She has also held positions at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Austin Community College. She received her doctorate in education administration at the University of Texas at Austin and holds a master’s degree from Texas State University and a bachelor’s degree from UT.
* Sheppard is serving as vice president for student learning and instruction at the Cy-Fair campus of Lone Star College, holding that position since 2014. Additionally, she served as interim president of Cy-Fair College in 2015-16 and in other executive administrative roles at Lone Star College beginning in 2001. Sheppard earned her doctorate in higher education leadership at Sam Houston State University, and has a master’s degree from the University of Houston and a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.
* Smith is currently vice president for educational services at Temple College and has served as an administrator at the college since 2006. He served a brief period at Cloud County Community College in Kansas as president. Prior to coming to Temple College, Smith held administrative roles at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College from 1998-2006. Smith served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 25 years. He earned his doctorate from Capella University with his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from William Carey College in Mississippi.