New Directors Join College Board

July 17, 2017

This summer brings a change in elected leadership to Columbia Gorge Community College, as four new board members took their oaths of office on July 11.

Wasco County voters selected four challengers, Dana Campbell, Kim Morgan, Dr. Kevin McCabe and Sarah Segal, over incumbents Dr. James Willcox, Dr. Ernest Keller, Charleen Cobb and J. Carmen Gamez in balloting May 16, 2017. The leadership transfer became formal with the July 11 board meeting, which marked the start of the college’s new fiscal year.

College board members from Hood River and Wasco counties stand for election at different times; the three Hood River County positions, held by outgoing board chair Charlotte Arnold, incoming chair Stu Watson, and Lee Fairchild, are unchanged.

Dana Campbell recently retired from a career as a public librarian spanning more than 25 years in Oregon and Washington; she previously taught high school for 15 years in Idaho. Kim Morgan grew up in The Dalles and returned in 2009; she’s a photographer and legal assistant. According to a profile in The Dalles Chronicle, she was inspired to enter public service by her grandfather, Walt Long, a former city councilor. Kevin McCabe is a former science instructor at CGCC who taught previously at the University of Colorado and Front Range Community College. McCabe is lab supervisor at Full Sail Brewing Company in Hood River, and also a board member of Mosier Community School. Sarah Segal is an instructor at Hood River Middle School, where she was honored as 2015 recipient of the History Teacher of the Year award, conferred by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. She is also 2013 recipient of the Robert H. Jackson (St. Louis) Award for Teaching Justice.

CGCC President Dr. Frank Toda recognized outgoing board directors in their final meeting June 13 with presentations marking their many years of service to the institution. Dr. James Willcox was a founding director of the college, having been instrumental in establishing the college’s predecessor, the Wasco County Area Education Service District. He was the longest-serving college director in Oregon.  Dr. Ernest Keller worked closely with the college from its earliest days in the late 1970s as a K-12 administrator before joining the board in 2001. He was also a member of the Wasco County Planning Commission during the tumultuous Rajneesh era of the 1980s. Charleen Cobb served on the board since 2001, and is an avid crafter. Orchardist J. Carmen Gamez was a new arrival to the board, having been appointed in 2016 to a vacancy left by the death of longtime board director Meredith VanValkenburgh.