May Board Meeting Scheduled Earlier Newly Elected Board Officers to Preside

The San Juan College May Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 30, instead of the regularly scheduled Tuesday, May 7 date. This will allow the board the opportunity to approve the budget prior to the state’s May 1 deadline.

Presiding over the April 30 meeting will be the newly elected Board of Trustees officers – Dr. Joseph Pope as chairman, John Thompson as vice chairman, and Evelyn Benny as secretary. Officers were elected at the April 2 meeting, and will serve in these positions over the next two years.

Dr. Joseph Pope replaces Shane Chance as chairman. Chance was re-elected March 5 to continue representing district six. Chance served has served on the board since 2004 and as chairman for the past four years. Chance is a Certified Public Accountant, and has owned his own accounting business in Aztec since 1997. He earned his bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University with a degree in accountancy in 1993 and an associate’s degree from San Juan College in 1991.

Dr. Pope represents district seven, and has been a member of the San Juan College Board of Trustees since 2007. He previously served as vice chairman. Pope has practiced family medicine in Farmington since 1994. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Medical degree from the University of New Mexico in 1991. He then completed a family practice residency at the University of Colorado. He also served in the United States Navy as a medical corpsman from 1975 to 1979.  

John Thompson replaces Dr. Pope as vice chairman. Thompson, who represents district five, has served on the board since 2010. He is a partner in Walsh Engineering and Production Corporation. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geological engineering from New Mexico State University in 1991. Thompson serves on the Oil & Gas Hazards Committee for the City of Farmington’s Planning and Zoning, is the past president of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico and former president of the local chapter of the American Petroleum Institute. He has also served on the Resource Advisory Committee to the BLM, and as an advisor to the Farmington Museum’s Dinosaur to Drill Bits exhibit.

Evelyn Benny replaces Chad King as secretary. King, has served since 2009, and continues to hold the district three board seat. Benny has served on the SJC Board of Trustees since 1997 and represents district two. She is currently a Land Consultant with Enterprise Field Services. She formerly served as a Chapter Coordinator at the Huerfano Chapter House. Along with serving on the SJC board, she also served on the Bloomfield High School Board for 20 years, and on the Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle School Board for more than 10 years.  

In addition, Ken Hare, district four representative, was re-elected March 5 for another six-year term. Hare has been a member since 2005. Mathew Tso also continues to serve on the board, representing district 1, and has been a member since 2011.