Big Bend Community College

MOSES LAKE - The search for Big Bend Community College’s next president has been narrowed to five finalists.

Terry Leas, the college’s current president, announced in August he would retire at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Leas has been Big Bend president since 2012.

The five finalists submitted to the college Board of Trustees are Dr. Suzanne Ames, vice president of Instruction at Lake Washington Institute of Technology; William Belden, vice president of student affairs at Clark College in Vancouver; Dr. Maria del Rosario “Chio” Flores, vice president of Student Services and Enrollment Management at Wenatchee Valley College; Dr. Teresa Rich, vice president of Administrative services at Yakima Valley College; and Dr. Sara Thompson Tweedy, vice president of Student Access, Involvement and Success at Westchester Community College.   

The college’s Presidential Search Committee began reviewing applications and screening 19 candidates in December. The committee trimmed the candidate list to 10 in late December, and submitted the five finalists Thursday afternoon to the Board of Trustees.

“I just want to commend the search committee for doing such an outstanding job,” Board Chair Stephen McFadden stated. “This was not a small task and required quite a bit of work on their part. This is one of the most important jobs that the Board of Trustees is tasked with, and we would not have been able to move forward to our current position in the process without the investment of each of the members of this search committee — we thank them for their tireless work.”

The five finalists will be invited to Big Bend for on-campus interviews. Each interview will last an entire day and consist of an interview with the Board of Trustees, meet-and-greets with the campus community and a tour of Moses Lake. The interviews will take place Jan. 21-23, 29 and 30.

“We want the candidates to really get a feel for the Big Bend campus community and the Moses Lake community as well,” stated Vice President of Human Resources Kim Garza. “We want them to be able to see themselves being on our campus and really be able to interact with everyone and get a feel of what our community is like.”

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