Washington, D.C. - New officers and members of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Board of Directors were elected during the 2015 ACCT Leadership Congress in San Diego, California, on Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16.
As the event drew to a close Saturday, incoming ACCT Chair Roberto Zárate said the association will focus on "sharing the recipe for student success" in the coming year.
As a trustee of the Alamo Colleges board in Texas, Zárate said he has "seen the impact a governing board and great leader can have on student success and completion."
Along with sharing best practices, Zárate said ACCT will invest in and promote efforts that strengthen governing boards and emphasize the use of data to foster student equity and completion, including the Governance Institute for Student Success, a nationally recognized ACCT initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that provides action-oriented training for community college boards and presidents to facilitate student success and college completion. With a change in the White House on the horizon, Zárate also urged trustees to continue advocating for the unprecedented levels of attention and support community colleges have received in recent years.
"This is the moment to forcefully argue for our rightful place in higher education," Zárate said. "This is the moment to step up for student success."
"We look forward to the direction of Chair Zárate over the coming year," said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown. "Community colleges have become more prominent and more influential than ever at the national level in recent years, and Chair Zárate's focus on maintaining this momentum while keeping a dedicated focus on student success is exactly what ACCT and community colleges throughout the country need at this time."
Zárate has served on the ACCT Board of Directors since 2010 and on the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees since 2003. A retired educator with more than 36 years of experience, he was an elementary school principal in San Antonio for 16 years, earning the honors of a Texas Recognized School, a Commended Title I School, a Texas Blue Ribbon School, and a National Blue Ribbon School. Under his leadership, the school also received the Hispanic Magazine Exemplary School Award in 1999.
Zárate was named by Governor Rick Perry to serve on the Texas Task Force on Higher Education Incentive Funding, and served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Advisory Committee on Higher Education Cost Efficiencies, and also was instrumental in founding the Community College Association of Texas Trustees (CCATT).
Zárate holds a master's degree from San Diego State University and a bachelor's degree from Howard Payne College in Brownwood, Texas. He and his wife Jane Ann are the parents of a daughter and three sons. He will serve as Chair of the ACCT Board of Directors through October 2016.
New ACCT Officers and Board Members
Following is a list of new ACCT Board of Directors Officers and Board Members elected or appointed during the 2015 ACCT Leadership Congress.
Alamo Colleges, Texas
Hudson County Community College, N.J.
Edmonds Community College, Wash.
Iowa Western Community College, Iowa
Immediate Past Chair
Robin M. Smith
Lansing Community College, Mich.
Central Regional Chair
Moraine Park Technical College, Wisc.
Northeast Regional Chair
Harrisburg Area Community College, Pa.
Pacific Regional Chair
Cochise College, Ariz.
Southern Regional Chair
Midlands Technical College, S.C.
Western Regional Chair
Johnson County Community College, Kans.
Newly Elected or Appointed Board Members
Frederick Community College, Md.
San Joaquin Delta Community College, Calif.
Helen Rosemond-Saunders, Diversity Committee Chair
Tri-County Technical College, S.C.
San Diego Community College District, Calif.
For a full list of the 26-member ACCT Board of Directors, visit http://www.acct.org/board