Texarkana College welcomes a new board member

TEXARKANA, Texas — The Texarkana College Board of Trustees welcomed a new board member Monday during its final meeting of 2022.

Tiffani Neal was sworn in as No. 1 Trustee to serve the remainder of Derrick McGary’s vacant term.

McGary tendered his resignation on November 15, having moved out of the district he represented. His term expires in 2028.

president dr Jason Smith said that McGary’s dedication to the college has benefited both the students and the community.

“We are grateful to Mr. McGary, who has shown his unwavering commitment to TC through his service on our Board of Directors at some exciting but very difficult times in our college’s history,” said Smith. “We hope to continue to keep Mr. McGary associated with the College for his leadership and dedication to the advancement of the College and our students.”

Neal works for Liberty-Eylau ISD as the gifted and talented facilitator and gifted and talented teacher/mentor for students in grades 5-12. She has been a Texas public school teacher for 28 years at Malta ISD (10 years) and L-EISD (18 years).

Neal is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in education.

At the head of the assembly, newly re-elected members were sworn in. Lesley Ledwell Dukelow is #2 through 2028, Brad Carlow is #6 through 2026. Both ran unopposed in November’s election.

Other deals included the board’s approval for TC to seek approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to establish Texarkana Regional Airport as an off-campus training location for a new flight mechanics technology program. Smith said seeking SACSCOC approval is the next step in the process of moving the initiative forward.

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“We are seeking approval from our accrediting agency to pursue this exciting opportunity that will bring a new group of students to our region and expand opportunities for our community,” he said. “There is a major shortage of skilled aviation personnel across the industry and establishing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Mechanics Technology will help build a skilled workforce in our region.”

Smith said TC plans to teach 50% or more of the program’s credits on-site at the airport as traditional, hands-on, face-to-face classes. The remaining credits are offered on TC’s campus or in an online format.

“Once approved by SACSCOC to move forward, we will seek a partnership with an aviation school to assist in recruiting new faculty to teach the program,” Smith said. “The initial equipment and set-up of the external facility is covered by grants, tuition fees and government formula funding. We anticipate that the initial cohort of students will be around twenty students and the projected start date of the program will be July 2023.”

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