The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees, which oversees College of the Canyons, re-elected its President Steven Zimmer, Vice President Michael Berger and Clerk Michele Jenkins during its organizational meeting Wednesday.
This is not the first time the community college district re-elected the same officers for a second term, according to Zimmer. In his recollection, it has happened at least twice before.
“I think it provides consistency in leadership, this was not the first time this had happened,” Zimmer said. “We had had this happen several times before. Michael was the president for two years and the officers remained the same at the time, and Michele was president for two years and the officers remained the same.”
Zimmer, who was first appointed Jan. 14, 2013 and re-elected Nov. 8, 2016, said he was looking forward to leading and continuing the programs and projects the college currently has underway.
“It feels good,” he said. “I want to be involved in those programs and the role of the president is an important one to keep the progress moving along at this time.”
These programs include the new Guided Pathways Project, where COC was one of 20 participants selected for the program.
This project helps colleges implement an integrated, institution-wide approach to student success by creating structured educational experiences that support each student from point-of-entry to attainment of postsecondary credentials and careers, according to the project’s website.
“We are also part of the statewide Guided Pathways Program,” Zimmer said. “It is to improve graduation rates, transfer rates and persistence rates, especially among those first year, full-time students that we get at College of the Canyons.”
Overall, his goal, as well as the Board of Trustees’, is to help students from all walks of life succeed.
“I think we do great things at College of the Canyons,” Zimmer said. “Our most important goal is constantly the same: student success.”
Outside of his position as trustee for District 3, Zimmer acts as an attorney at the Law Offices of Steven D. Zimmer.
Also, he acts as an instructor in the Paralegal Certificate Program at Imperial Valley College and as a guest lecturer in the Masters of Real Estate Development Program at University of Southern California (USC).
In the past, Zimmer acted as chair of the College of the Canyons Foundation Board of Directors as well as chair and vice chair of the Finance Committee and the Families Committee on the Child and Family Center Board of Directors.
He is also a former executive at The Newhall Land & Farming Co., a former city attorney for several California cities and a former chief assistant county counsel for Imperial County.
Berger, the re-elected vice president, has served on the Board of Trustees for eight years since he was elected in November 2009.
In addition to his position as a trustee, Berger has 28 years of financial management experience because of his position as senior vice president at Smith Barney.
A COC graduate himself, Berger has also been involved at the college as chair of the University Center Capital Campaign Major Gift Committee, member of the COC Foundation Advisory Board, member of the Citizens Oversight Committees for Bond Measures C and M, and member, as well as past president, of the COC Foundation Board of Directors.
He also is a member and former president of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club and the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer Board of Directors, as well as finance chairman at the Child and Family Center.
Jenkins, the re-elected clerk, is the Board of Trustees longest-serving member, having first been elected to the board in 1984.
Outside of her work as trustee for district 4, Jenkins manages three physician family medical practices.
She also attended local schools having graduated from the William S. Hart Union High School District and College of the Canyons.
Her two children also attended COC and her husband, Gregory Jenkins, was part of COC’s first graduating class.
In addition to her involvement in the district, Jenkins was a member of the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) Board of Directors for 11 years and a member of the Community College League of California (CCLC) Board of Directors for two years.
She also served as president of each board for one year from 2004 to 2005.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_