San Juan College Names New President

Toni Pendergrass SJC's new PresidentFarmington, NM – At the April 3 meeting of the San Juan College Board of Trustees, Shane Chance, board chairman, announced that Dr. Toni Pendergrass has been named the college’s new president. She starts her new position July 2, 2012.

Following interviews and open forums with the college and community, she was selected from among six finalists.

Dr. Pendergrass most recently served as the Vice President of Learning at San Jacinto College, South Campus, in Houston, Texas. She has served there since 2008. There, her responsibilities included being the chief learning officer for the college and providing vision, leadership and strategic direction in Liberal Arts, Health Science and Sciences, Business and Technology, Evening and Weekend College, the Library, Dual Credit, and the District Honors Program.

We are looking forward to her joining San Juan College, and are extremely confident that she will serve the college and community well,” says Chance. “Along with being well versed in the community college philosophy, she has a proven track record in economic development and was known at San Jacinto for having built collaborative, positive relationships both on campus and in the community.

Over the course of her career, she has worked with teams to advance economic growth through workforce and academic partnerships – including a collaborative effort with Texas A&M University-Galveston to create maritime business administration courses, a collaboration with the Northern Brazoria Educational Alliance and Alvin Community College to offer technical training to high school students in the Pearland Independent School District, a partnership with Clear Creek Independent School District regarding the Clear Horizons Early College High School, and a collaboration with Texas Tech University and NASA to develop a bridge program for high school students. Additionally, she has secured state and federal grants for nursing, health care training, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines.

She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration, specializing in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and Economics from New Mexico State University. A graduate of Aztec High School, Dr. Pendergrass has roots in the Four Corners.

Her academic experience also includes working for El Centro College, Dallas County Community College District, where she served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success (interim), the Executive Dean of Communications, Mathematics, Developmental Studies, and Teacher Preparation Division, Assistant to the President, and was an adjunct faculty member. She also worked at Wayne County Community College District as a Vice Chancellor for Planning, Development and Accountability and at Clovis Community College as the Director of Institutional Planning and Research.

With strong ties to the Four Corners and 15 years of experience in community college administration, Dr. Pendergrass has a distinct vision and entrepreneurial view of what San Juan College has to offer,” adds Chad King, SJC board member and chairman of the presidential search committee. “SJC has the potential to achieve all the more, and she has the vision to guide SJC to excellence.