Gillette College Board of Trustees Candidate Responses: Round 1

Gillette College Main Sign

Good afternoon Gillette! Below are the responses to the first round of questions sent by County 17 to each individual running to serve on the prospective Gillette Community College District Board of Trustees. Each candidate was sent the following questions:

  1. Do you support the concept of an independent Gillette Community College District and the statutorily required mills to be taxed? (Limit 75 words)
  2. What is your current and past involvement with Gillette College? (Limit 100 words)
  3. What opportunities do you see for changes in programs, service delivery models, or credentialing for the Gillette Community College District? (Limit 250 words)
  4. What is your spirit animal? (Limit 50 words)

The responses published here are presented as they were submitted to us with as little editing as possible. We at County 17 feel our readers deserve to know who they are voting for without making any candidate sound better than they really are. Some responses were cut for space.

Editors Note: Question number four was intentionally asked in an attempt to show our readers each candidate’s human/humorous side. 

Ryan Allen 

  1. I absolutely support this effort.  Under local control this is our path to a highly trained qualified workforce that we can tailor to the needs of our county and surrounding region.  I’m supportive of taxing ourselves appropriately to fund this district.   Setting the mill levy for this district needs to be done in a manner that will successfully fund the college, putting it in a position to succeed, and meet the expectations of the community.
  2. I’ve previously taken classes at the college as well as being current board member on the Gillette College Booster Club.
  3. It think the first step in expanding our offerings is to listen. Listen to the community, prospective students, feedback from current students, and industry.  What are they looking for? Local control of our own college will provide us with opportunities to review underrepresented occupations as well as diversify our offerings to fit and reflect our areas of need. I think we could develop an excellent certificate program for the trades. Include HVAC, plumbing, and building on the electrical program.
  4. I’m not sure if it’s an actual spirit animal, but I’d say Liger.  For those unfamiliar it is half lion, half tiger, and definitely has skills in magic. Actual Ligers are supposedly extroverts, but I couldn’t tell you for sure as I’ve never met one.

Frank Stevens

  1. Yes, I support an independent Gillette Community College assessing up to 4 mills to fund the college.  A 4 mill levy is not required.   The trustees will determine the amount needed for the levy.  Based on a preliminary budget proposed by supporters of the college, it appears less than 4 mills will adequately fund the college.  It is imperative that the college be independent.  Recent events have shown the Sheridan trustees and president cannot be trusted to act in the best interest of the Gillette College.
  2. I have no direct involvement with the college. I served on the Foundation Board many years ago.
  3. The new trustees and administration will need to begin the accreditation process upon formation of the District. A new district and new trustees will allow the evaluation of existing programs, the involvement of industry and the community and the need for changes.  I am not familiar enough with current programing to make any specific recommendations at this time.
  4. Sorry, I don’t have a spirit animal.

Nick Jessen

  1. I do support the Gillette Community College District. We have been under the control of the Board of Trustees elected by and from Sheridan County for the past 52 years.   During that time we have grown until we are almost half of the enrollment in the college system.  We have been unable to introduce new programs, or programs that would benefit the  citizens of Campbell County.   We have paid for the Campus, and the costs of operating the Gillette College.
  2. I am not currently involved with the Gillette College.   I was a anti college supporter in 1991 when we voted on it last time.  I was wrong, I fell for the same BS that the Gillette College Vote NO pact is spreading now.  It is imperative that we pass this issue for the future of Gillette, Campbell County, Wyoming and our Children and Grandchildren.
  3. We will have opportunities to change and add programs that fit Campbell County.  We could add a Reclamation program, enlarge the Nursing Program, , we will be able to meet the needs of the industry we have at present as well a the industry that will come in the future because of our infrastructure, and outstanding work force.   This being said, we should not change any programs until we have our accreditation.  Once that process is completed we will be able to make changes we need.   We will be able to make this the Best College in The state and region..
  4. I did some reading on spirit animals last night and was unable to come up with one,  I spent most of the night in a smoke lodge but didn’t have a vision,  I will continue to try and when it comes I will inform County 17.

Maggie McCreery

  1. I support forming an independent Gillette Community College District to allow for local control over the college. Local control would mean having our own board of trustees, our own president and other administrators, our own policies regarding standards for college operations including educational programs, personnel and financial operations. I support the statute requiring taxing up to four mills to help fund the college realizing that taxing a smaller amount may be sufficient for Gillette College.
  2. My current involvement with Gillette College is as a member of the Gillette College Foundation Board since 2016. The Foundation is the fund raising organization of the college.  The Foundation helps extend financial aid and support to the Northern Wyoming Community College district by providing scholarships, grants in aid, loans to students, operating expenses, capital improvements and any other financial aid that supports Gillette College.  My past involvement with Gillette College has been as a donor to the college and the Energy City Voices.  I also help administer the Robert P. McCreery Memorial Scholarship.
  3. The opportunities for change at Gillette College will only happen if the vote is “yes” for forming a new college district. When the new college district is approved then planning can start for changes in programs and the process for accreditation can begin.  The goal is to help students receive affordable training and education to be employable.  Programs may need to be changed or added; more vocational trades may need to be taught; more certificate programs may need to be added.  Input from industries and business owners will be needed to guide those choices.  Times that classes are scheduled will need adjusting to help traditional and non-traditional students as well as offering in person classes vs. on-line classes.  All these areas will need to be reviewed for appropriateness and adherence to the mission of Gillette College. There is a very orderly process for accreditation that can begin after the trustees have chosen a President or Interim president.  I feel that accreditation is important and that the President can help the trustees know when to start this process.
  4. My spiritual animal is an eagle because of the traits of excellent vision, powerful grip and fighting to never surrender its prey even when the prey is much larger than the eagle. Symbolically, the eagle to me means power, strength, courage and bravery.

Olin Oedekoven

  1. Absolutely! An independent Gillette College gives us a say in how the College can support workforce development, provide higher education for local graduates, and help diversify our economic by attracting new businesses and growing existing enterprises. Decisions made by trustees who are located 120 miles away and obligated to their own constituency do not serve us well. As a Trustee, I would tax only to the level needed to fully fund the College.
  2. Currently, I serve on the business program advisory board for Gillette College where I provide recommendations for workforce development. Our business hires Gillette College students as interns, and we have hired three Gillette College Graduates.

I have conducted several strategic planning sessions for the Gillette College Foundation. Our company also supports the College’s annual Start up Weekend. I have also consulted with College leaders on specialized and institutional accreditation needs.

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My wife and I started a music scholarship last year at Gillette College. Our business, through the Peregrine Global Foundation, annual supports the College’s entrepreneurial programs with a matched grant.

  1. I chaired the business program review during the 2017-18 marketing study for Gillette College. That study showed several opportunities for both new programs and expansion of existing programs based on our community’s needs. These include agribusiness, finance, and business administration. The study also showed opportunities to expand healthcare and human services programs. As a Trustee, I would leverage the results from this important study to guide program development. I also see a tremendous opportunity with a new Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree, which was recently authorized by the Wyoming Legislature. Once Gillette College has its institutional accreditation, which will take about 2-3 years to complete, this new 4-year degree will provide more opportunities for our youth to stay in Gillette and complete their bachelor’s degree, and for working adults to finish a bachelor’s degree. An independent Gillette College also gives us opportunities to expand partnerships with several regional institutions including Black Hills State University, MSU Billings, the University of Mary, and the University of Wyoming. Such partnerships help diversify the offerings of Gillette College. There is also opportunity for the College to offer stackable certificate programs that address immediate needs for workforce development and adult education. Certificate programs offer just-in-time education and training for local businesses and industries. The first question that business looking to locate to Gillette ask is if there is local College that can support their workforce development needs. Independence means greater responsiveness to these needs, which means economic transformation for our County.
  2. The sharp-tailed grouse. I did my first master’s degree through the University of Wyoming where I studied the bird’s distribution and habitat use in Southcentral Wyoming. That study helped launch my 20-year career with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department including 15 years in Gillette as the District Wildlife Biologist.

Robert Palmer

  1. Initiated by Resolution 2048, unanimously approved by our Board of Commissioners, the application for an independent Gillette Community College District was unanimously approved by the Wyoming Community College Commission, and culminated with Enrolled Act 47, overwhelming approved by the 2021 Wyoming Legislature, prescribing Wyoming Statute § 21-18-103 which outlines the language on the ballot, ‘not to exceed four mills’. GCCD will operate with far less than four mills based on current assessed valuation.
  2. My involvement with the Gillette College started in 1985, as a student to complete a pre-requisite for my master’s in business administration program, and as an employee. I was the first Small Business Development Center Director for Northeast Wyoming and was also Campus Continuing & Community Education Director. After leaving the College in the late 80’s I was asked to serve on the Campus, now College, Advisory Board. I have been honored to be a member of the College Advisory Board for over thirty years and have served twice as Chairman. I have also been a Pronghorn Booster Club member.
  3. There are tremendous opportunities for continued development and transformation with an independent Gillette Community College District. Recent market analysis research prepared for the Gillette College by Lone Tree Academics concluded there is significant higher education potential concentrating on healthcare services and business/management. Enhancing our core academic programming; for example, in the area of Nursing, doubling the current number of enrolled students and graduates, also focusing on allied health sciences, and exploring the creation of a regional healthcare services hub. In the area of business and management expanding curriculum to include entrepreneurship and small business expansion, while ensuring business courses and degrees continue to be wholly transferable. Additionally, Education was highlighted in the market analysis and could include offering advanced degrees, credentialing pathways and supervised local student teaching through articulation agreements with regionally accredited institutions. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programming is a final area identified in the market analysis for the future of Campbell County. This could include associate and applied science degrees in engineering technology and information aligned services. For sustained growth, the opportunity to recruit new and retain existing Students is vitally important. This can be achieved through a variety of means, including effective advising, alternative credit, applied baccalaureate degrees, apprenticeships, bundling, campus engagement, corequisite remediation, course scheduling, dual and concurrent enrollment, guided pathways, inclusion, internships, mainstreaming, marketing, mentoring, stackable certificates and credentials, and work study. Incorporating pioneering methods to provide effective and efficient student-centered programming, courses of study and delivery of instruction offers further opportunity.
  4. An owl is associated with wisdom and intuition, change and transition, vigilance, discernment, a bearer of knowledge and making decisions based on solid foundation. The “Spirit Animal” survey confirmed I am linked with the owl. A group of owls is called a “parliament”, like a legislative body or assembly.

Alison Ochs Gee

  1. Yes, it is vital to our economic future to have local leaders decide what programs we need to train and retain our current workforce.  Projections have shown that an independent Gillette College could operate on as low as 2.5 mills. I know how important keeping taxes low is to the success of our community and our College and I will work to keep the mill levy low while supporting a strong Gillette College.
  2. I attended Gillette College while in high school – when it was located in temporary buildings by the Hospital. I also assisted with teaching government classes.  I am passionate about the affordable and local education Gillette College offers – to prepare our students for the workforce or for higher education.  Through Gillette College, high school students have the opportunity to take college classes while still attending high school.  After they graduate high school, keeping our students in Campbell County to continue college courses helps fill jobs in our local economy while providing them an affordable and practical education.
  3. First, we need to gain our independence. Then, we need to listen to our community and our students – what do they need and expect from their education?  Many of our students are working and would benefit from online classes, hands-on training, and more mentorship opportunities.  Several programs that have been requested by Gillette College were denied by Sheridan.  We need to start by evaluating whether those programs are still in demand and, if so, start pursuing those additions.  Areas of need I see in our community include education, law enforcement, nursing, and technical trades such as HVAC.  I would like us to evaluate what we can afford and what our community demands and pursue the opportunities that make sense for Gillette.
  4. A horse – I am driven, steady, hardworking and loyal.

Joy Beattie

  1. Yes, I support an independent community college as well as the necessary financial commitment needed to sustain Gillette Community College. A post-secondary education that will serve Campbell County’s business, agricultural, and industry needs is vital for a healthy local economy. Gillette Community College will offer courses to local students that will be cost-effective rather than travel across Wyoming or other states. The current proposed budget for Gillette College is at 2.5 mills.
  2. I have four children that attended Gillette College with two receiving their associate degrees. I have also attended evening education classes in computer software and conversational Spanish (no longer offered on-campus in Gillette).
  3. I have reached out and talked with several neighbors, colleagues, and friends. Many have given me sound suggestions of courses that could enhance Gillette, Wright, and Campbell County. Gillette College currently offers an excellent two-year degree in Nursing. This program could be expanded to a four-year bachelor’s degree to address the nursing shortage in Campbell and surrounding counties. We can offer certificate programs in welding, HVAC, and auto mechanics with options to expand the programs to two-year degrees. We could expand courses in Diesel Technology to include a teaching degree and begin a four-year education degree for future teachers and early childhood instructors. Currently, there are no on-campus courses available to earn degrees in Agriculture Business or Animal Science. These areas of study are vital components of life in Campbell County and Wyoming overall, which should be made available at the local level. The introduction of a Culinary Arts degree would serve the ever-increasing local restaurant and hospitality industry.
  4. As a spirit animal, it motivates me to recognize my self-worth and maintain dignity. The sparrow reminds me that something so small as a sparrow can triumph in the big world. That is me. In some ways, it is Gillette College. We are ready for the big world.

Larry Smith

  1. I do support Gillette College becoming an independent district. Our community has its own workforce and educational needs which differ from the current partnership. It is time for local leadership to represent our community and our college. State statute reads that a district may assess up to 4 mills to be independent. As a Trustee I will be fiscally conservative and a good steward of county funds, always keeping the county residents, businesses and industry in mind.
  2. I am a current member of the Gillette College Booster Club and former President, also serving as liaison to the Gillette College Foundation. I have been actively involved with Gillette College, spending a great deal of time on campus with meetings, building design, fundraising functions, donor and scholarship events, music and athletic activities and most importantly, many graduation ceremonies celebrating student success! Our oldest son attended GC and all three of our sons benefitted as concurrent students at GC while attending CCHS. I have had the opportunity to meet administration, faculty, staff, students and the majority of the NWCCD Trustees.
  3. Being an independent college district provides the opportunity to alter, expand, or add programs reflecting the changing economy pertinent to our community, industry and student needs. Such areas may be expansion in health sciences, agricultural programs, criminal justice, electrical, HVAC, and entrepreneurship. Having local control of GC will allow the Board of Trustees to work closely with all facets of our community. As a Trustee, I will listen to specific needs of business and industry leaders to ensure the college continues to produce a quality trained workforce and adjust programs as necessary. Input from those leaders as well as faculty and staff will help determine the rationale for short term credentials, certificates, and provide pathways for graduates and students of completion to have opportunity for jobs in our community or further educational institutions. Traditional and non-traditional students should be considered when determining means of service delivery such as traditional methods, online studies, weekend classes, night courses, or others that ensure student success within a fiscally sound budget. As a Trustee of our own community college, it will be my responsibility to also work with Administration to form internal committees that are directly involved with students to determine course work and means of service.
  4. My spirit animal is an owl. I consider myself to be a good listener, wise observer of situations, independent, with good intuition, and alert to my surroundings. An owl has good vision. I have vision for our community, our college, our future; it’s positive, it’s strong, it’s independent.

Joshua Dillinger

  1. Yes, I support the concept of an independent Gillette College and the mills that will be taxed to support it. An independent college is an important next step for our community, it will cost money but education is a worthy investment and the return on investment for a community college far outweighs any burden subsequent taxes might bring.
  2. I have not been involved with Gillette College in the past, nor am I involved in any notable way now. I do bring a unique perspective to the board having worked with the board of trustees at a large university, and as an educator. As an educator I know the needs of the students coming in, and can advocate for the relationship between an independent Gillette College and the surrounding school districts. I also bring an understanding of building a board through writing bylaws and other governing documents for higher education organizations.
  3. Becoming an independent community college district is the only way for change, innovation, and growth for Gillette College. Giving local control over the college will allow us to create an institution that better serves Gillette. A few possible opportunities might include expanding the early childhood education program, bring back programs in the fine arts, expand business courses, grow our technical programs to suit our industries, and expand health care industry courses. While the possibilities are endless, these programs would meet needs and foster growth in those areas throughout our community. Offering a wide variety of delivery models is also critical for our student population, increasing hybrid courses and evening course offerings would allow Gillette College to reach more of our residents. Expanding non-degree seeking options would also allow the college to fill needs in our community without forcing students through a full program. As for accreditation, I believe through strong board leadership and quality professional staff an independent Gillette College would have no issues receiving accreditation.
  4. My spirit animal is a bison. I am pragmatic, strong and dependable; I seek success and work tirelessly to get the job done. I am plain yet majestic. I stand my ground.

Anne Ziegenhorn

  1. I am for an independent Gillette College and the imposed mill levy that will be needed.  Education is what brought me to Campbell county as a teacher/coach at Wright Junior Senior High.  As far as how much of the mill levy that is necessary, I feel we should only tax to the level that will be needed to fund the college as it needs to be funded.
  2. The extent of my connection with Gillette College is attending the Foundation’s fundraiser and teaching concurrent enrollment.  I teach Spanish 3 and 4 concurrent enrollment to students at WJSHS.  I have been teaching for about six years.
  3. Once the vote has passed and getting an executive in place and determining the mill levy tax, then the next step in working on the accreditation. During that time is when there can be some evaluations of programs already in place.  Are the programs working for our customers?  What may be lacking or what is there to much of?  I don’t think any changes should be made while going through the accreditation.  Once that is done, the next thing is to look at the programs and classes offered and how are they offered.  I am one who needs to be in class but I know there are some who do better with an online set up.  People working full-time would maybe benefit more from online courses.  People talk about expanding the nursing program but how?  More instructors, add a master’s degree track?  I think that there should be night offerings at some point to try and serve people who work full-time.  I would love to see a satellite campus in Wright someday so that students wouldn’t have to be on the road every day.  Could there possibly be a way to start adding four-year degree courses?  Those are ideas that will need to be looked at and maybe be implemented if and when there is a need.
  4. A meerkat. Meerkats are very social, work well in a group, gets whatever the job is at hand done but might not know what the job is.  A meerkat has a tight social circle and has to be in charge.  They help whoever needs help.  Relationships are very important.

Kevin Anders

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  1. Campbell County is ready for control over its community college. The mill levy of 4 mills is just a cap. The entire amount does not need to be used if the budget doesn’t require it. I would like to see the college have a balanced budget and not use the full mills allowed.
  2. I have taken classes at Gillette College, including several years of MSHA classes. I taught one course there for a semester. Both of my daughters have attended Gillette College and went on to other institutions to further their education. I have attended many functions at the college throughout the years since we moved here in 1997.
  3. The college will need to go forward with credentialing. The programs and courses will need to be reviewed. With input from industry and the community updates can be made. Extracurricular activities need to be reviewed. I believe that several of them should be returned to the college, if feasible.
  4. Cat -Smooth, independent, boundless curiosity, can be majestic or silly as their mood dictates.

Brian Worthen

  1. Yes, I believe Gillette should have its own college district with decisions made by us for us.  We already have a college campus after years of local investment, and we should continue to invest in that campus.  I am a believer that we can operate a Gillette Community College District on less than four mills.  Remember, tuition should make up at least 25% of a college district budget.
  2. I am the Gillette College Advisory Board Chair.  In that role, I lead the Advisory Board in being responsive to the local and regional business and community needs, while supporting the mission of the NWCCD (from our bylaws).  The Advisory Board is similar to a Board of Trustees, but with no decision-making or voting ability.
  3. I took my low voltage electrical certification at Gillette College.  People I work with receive MSHA certification at Gillette College. A community college is just that – an education tailored to the community.  The trade education we have at Gillette College produces nurses, diesel mechanics, machinists, welders, electricians and more.  For years, we were told to attend the University as the pinnacle of education.  The fact is (1) we have education right here and (2) we should support and encourage students to look at trades.  In my business, an electrician or a construction foreman is of higher value than most office workers, and are paid that higher value.  I look at other businesses around town, and they have trade-specific needs as well.  The college has an opportunity to look around the community, look at the businesses are growing and need the support of the college, and then answer that call.  We can roll up our sleeves now and retool, or watch this community change without putting an effort in.  I would choose to retool.
  4. I’m answering the question differently, because I think we all benefit from someone that looks at the question differently.  In 15 years, I want to recognize our college students around town and know that we kept our talent local and working on a stronger Gillette.

Ivy McGowan-Castleberry

  1. Yes, I support both the Gillette Community College District (GCCD) formation and the required mills to support the college. I believe GCCD is an integral part of our future; as such, I feel our community should have full ownership, both in supporting the college through local revenue and determining the programming that best suits the needs of our community. If we aren’t willing to invest in ourselves and our future, why would anyone else?
  2. Three of our children attended classes through Gillette College, both through dual enrollment with the school district and as college students. I have worked with Gillette College on many projects, including the current Carbon Valley Communities of Excellence (CV COE) program. Gillette College and the Gillette College Foundation have assumed leadership roles in the CV COE process, demonstrating their express dedication to helping Campbell County thrive as we navigate challenging economic transitions.
  3. In 2019 the Wyoming legislature passed a bill allowing community colleges to offer certain bachelor’s degrees. Since the bill’s passage, there has been no reported movement in identifying or implementing a program such as an applied bachelor’s of science degree in nursing. I believe this is an area we should explore. By offering high-demand bachelor’s degrees, Gillette College would be well situated to help students who would otherwise not have access to a bachelor’s due to cost or location. A 2017 Campbell County Higher Education Market Analysis identified health sciences, marketing sales and service, finance and hospitality and tourism as areas that are projected to have the greatest undersupply of degreed graduates. The market analysis provides an excellent foundation for us to begin examining what programs are going to be needed to serve both our student population and local employers. Another opportunity where I believe Gillette College could serve our workforce is through non-traditional credential pathways, such as apprenticeships and stackable certificates. Non-traditional credentialing would provide a strong point of access to train workers while meeting the target needs of local businesses. If done correctly, stackable credentials can take the place of a degree in multiple industries where specialized training, knowledge and skills are more desirable than a more generalized degree program. Offering various learning and training opportunities will help Gillette College provide the best education pathways for students and our workforce while helping students save time and money.
  4. My spirit animal is the dolphin. Dolphins are sociable, playful and curious creatures—they like to blow bubbles, and they’re chatty (something I have in common). As free-spirited animals, dolphins can easily transition from shallow water to the depths of the ocean.

Jed Jensen

  1. I do support the creation of an independent college district. I believe that it is time for Campbell County to be independent and to make local decisions.  This will require a mill levy to fund the college.  Statutorily the levy can be up to 4 mills but current projections are that it will not require the full 4 mill levy to have a fully functioning college district but will instead require somewhat less.
  2. My first involvement goes back to the late 1970’s as I have a college transcript with a class on it. More recently, I have taught as an adjunct instructor in the MSHA and the industrial electrical program since 1983.  I was employed as the Dean of Technical and Career Education from 2012 until 2020 when I retired.  In this role I had responsibility for the tech programs, computer science programs and business programs across the college district.  My children and grandchildren have attended, received credits through dual enrollment, and earned degrees from Gillette College.
  3. The first responsibility will be to have the college set up and running on a firm footing. That will include obtaining accreditation which is a lengthy process.  Once that is accomplished the college can look to have expansions in programs or make modifications to existing programs.  It is important to bear in mind that the addition of any program can be a potentially expensive proposition.  Thus, the district must have a process in place to evaluate the necessity and the cost to begin or expand any and all programs.  It is also important to realize that adding any completely new programs would require approval from the Wyoming Community College Commission. The college has already show that classes can be delivered in a variety of ways.  Covid forced many more classes on-line that would not have happened otherwise.  There are instances of instructors using the model of a flipped classroom in their presentations and hybrid class formats have been successfully implemented.  The recent Weekend Welding program, which started during my tenure as dean, has shown that if there is student demand, classes can run evenings and weekends. In Wyoming community colleges have been given permission to offer baccalaureate degree programs.  That should be investigated for Gillette College.  For credentials to be offered they must be meaningful and meet a need.  This is true for transfer degrees or terminal degrees.
  4. Spirit animal is new to me, so I googled it and also took a poll of my family. Took six of the on-line quizzes and got six different answers as to what mine is.  I guess that means that I am very versatile and can navigate any situation and circumstance.

Daniel Baker

  1. Yes, absolutely.  The Gillette College is a tremendous asset to the Gillette Community.  Residents of Campbell County need to be in control of it and with fiscally responsible trustees, the mill levy can be minimized.  The needs of the county will be changing over the next couple of decades and a strong community college can help in training new skills for potential new businesses.
  2. I have been a past member of the booster club.  I have worked with the MSHA grant program as well as the Diesel Technology program.  My company has hired many Gillette College graduates over the years and look forward to more in the future.
  3. We will have to operate under the accreditation of Sheridan College until we are able to obtain our own accreditation.  My understanding is that will take 2 to 4 years.  Changing many of the programs will not be a high priority at the start since there will be more important tasks that need to get done.  However, every community college must serve the citizens and community in which it exists, so the programs should change as the needs change.  I can see that advancing the nursing program as well the technical areas of welding, mechanical and electrical should be a priority.  Someday adding a carpentry or heavy machinery operating certificate could also prove to be very beneficial to local contractors.   I would like to increase the utilization of internships and apprenticeships to further the partnerships with area businesses.  At the same time, we need to ensure that the students attending Gillette College are prepared to move on to other four year institutions.  Therefore, we need to work closely with the Wyoming Community College Commission to ensure that takes place.
  4. (No response given)

Jacob Dalby

  1. I do not support the gillette college separating from Sheridan we will not gain enough to off set the HUGE tax burden it will put on our industry in campbell county
  2. I am the chairman of the Anti-Tax Coalition that is Frontlining the vote NO on the gillette college tax BURDEN
  3. The only opportunity that could possibly come from the separation of the gillette college is more Agriculture trade schools but I believe we can do that while staying with Sheridan if we as campbell county citizens would speak up and go to Sheridan and be persistent in ask what we want
  4. I do not have a spirit animal I’m not a child any one that says that they do have a spirit animal dose not have the mental capability to serve on a board

Jason Linduska

  1. I am in full support of an independent Gillette Community College and establishing a funding model that only taxes what the college will need. By establishing the independent district, Gillette College would be governed by local officials. Local trustees are more intuitive of the social responsibilities within our community and region. Using the model “whats best for Gillette”  we will be able to build programs that align with the needs of our community and todays workforce.
  2. My past involvement with Gillette College/Sheridan College includes offering my senior students at CCHS concurrent enrollment (college credit) within the art department. Sheridan college canceled the opportunity for all CCSD students which is in large part my desire to advocate for a locally governed college.
  3. I think it is important to understand the idea that Rome was not built in a day. This is going to take time, patience and understanding to grow programs in the direction that will best suit our local community and most importantly the students. It is hard to predict what Gillette College will look like in 5 years let alone ten. Being locally run means we will be able to invest in the future of the community and offer programs that are enriched and impactful that puts students first. Existing programs such as the nursing and industrial trades are in high demand and will experience natural growth to accommodate the interest/needs of the workforce as well as the interest of the student. The growth of these programs could induce different certifications and even grow into other areas of healthcare or industrial trades. Bringing back athletic programs will give opportunity’s to local athletes, support athletic academic achievement, foster school pride, stimulate the local economy and offer the community entertainment. A continued relationship with CCSD students to earn college credit in areas of content being offered now but also expand offerings which include elective classes such as vocational trades and the arts. Voting yes will allow us to grow our college into what is best for Gillette and not what is best for Sheridan. Catering to our local residents and setting our future up for success.
  1. I can’t say I could pick only one spirit animal, but would rather say I own a zoo. I am simple, complex, hardworking, funny, passionate and understanding. Probably more relatable to your first relationship!

Kimberly Dalby

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  1. We have paid zero real-estate taxes to sheridan  we pay minimal money’s to sheridan to have them over the Gillette College  to  be affiliated with them.The burden will be a huge burden on Campbell County We want the Community to succeed  and have our people be able to take courses to allow them the ability to gain better life style.   However if we TAX the death out of all the coal and oil as well as the small businesses  which includes us ranchers there will be No Jobs.
  2. I went to NWCCD  graduated  with  AS  1992 I also facilitated the same college while attending UW to graduate with my Dbl BS in Criminal Justice  and Psychology in 2005. For my BS I petitioned  UW  and  NWCCD via  Gillette and Sheridan  to take ASL as my FOREIGN Language  Which I was able to do
  3. I believe that we need to have a variety of Ways to gain education :  online,  Tellaconference, video as well as in person. We need more courses in trade education to help parents  gain knowledge  and credentials to gain higher paying jobs in our community. If we have more courses that allow our residents to get in and out there will be a more positive outcome for the students as well as more students. As a single mother who raised 2 children on her own I was glad to stay here living at-home and save money. Our Community needs more AGRICULTURAL Courses (like)  AI animals, animal husbandry and VET Tech, dental assistant,  Ranch business management, auto, Tractor and ATV mechanic.  These are needed TRADES  in Campbell County.  Of course everyone focuses on Nursing yes that is important  I agree.
  4. I have never had a animal spirit and never will I do not believe in that.  I am Not a Native American  I will not claim to be. I respect the Native American People.

Josh McGrath

  1. Yes, absolutely. However according to the WY Attorney General there is NO required Mill Levy. So, there is nothing that says we have to assess a certain amount. Therefore, we need to assess only what is necessary to run our college as efficiently as it has in the past. There is always a time for local and having the ability to make the decisions that directly involve CC citizens.
  2. I currently serve on the advisory board as well as President of the Gillette College Booster Club. I also have a daughter that just finished her freshman year at GC. My family has a long history in with the College and believing in what this institution does for education for Campbell County citizens.
  3. Community Colleges should have many avenues or pathways for a large variety of people to further their education. This, I believe, can be done by adding additional programs. I think we must look at the trades, how can we churn out workforce ready individuals. This includes HVAC, plumbing, construction programs and continued machining and electrical individuals. But can also be done with other programs that we’ve once had that have been cut such as various science and arts as well as some of the other programs. I also think we need to explore IT programs. They are lacking in so many ways and listen technology is only going to expand get stronger. This will help diversify the college and our county in many ways. ) It will allow Campbell County to respond to what is needed to help our citizens and workforce. 1 in 4 Campbell County Students attend GC, compare that to 1/10 attend UW. That’s huge. Of that 80% stay in CC to work. So this may come in the shape of continuing education for our industry but also in training new workforce.
  4. Wolf it has a sharp intelligence, wants to be free (which makes sense here) and has strong instincts. I feel like I am a good judge of people but also have faith in those people until they let me down. The wolf also takes charge when threatened and I believe without a YES vote Sheridan is threatening our institution. 

Tracy Wasserburger

  1. I absolutely support Gillette Community College to become its own independent district.  I believe that our county needs to have local control over Gillette College and the campus that we have built.   Campbell County has invested over  90 million into our college.  Having control of the diversification of our economy and the development of our workforce will be critical in the future as Campbell County changes.    Through local control, we have the ability to establish  is  a very fiscally responsible budget for our college district that would determine how many mills will be needed.
  2. My first involvement with GC was as a student.  Because I lived in a community that had a community college, I was able to meet requirements needed to complete my bachelors of science in nursing.  This then paved the way for me to attain both my MSN and post-master’s certificate as a nurse practitioner.   I have been a guest lecturer for the college’s nursing program.  I have served on the Gillette College Advisory Board since 2008 and during that time have been both vice-chair (2 years) and chairperson (3 years).   My family has supported the college also by attending many of their events routinely for many years.
  3. By becoming an independent district, it will be an ideal time to establish principles, standards and policies for a service delivery model specific to our new Gillette Community College.    Community colleges serve their local communities.  Therefore, I believe that the local and regional needs should drive program development.  Community Colleges also are the foundation for general education requirements.  We need to expand our nursing program to meet local healthcare needs.  I think other emerging areas of need are particularly in the tech area, with possible opportunities for expansion in cyber security training and computer repair.  The flexibility of the weekend welding program has been an asset for our students as well as our industry partners.  Evaluating what other programs could benefit from this type of flexibility could enhance our campus.  Gillette Community College needs to be nimble and change as the economy changes.
  4. My spirit animal is a horse.  To me, it symbolizes personal drive, passion and an appetite for freedom.    I have always admired their strength and endurance which are traits that I strive for.   They are also creatures that can enjoy trusting relationships and symbolize service.  I have always enjoyed working with others and have a strong personal belief in service to your community.