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Barstow Community College President Announces Retirement

BARSTOW • Barstow Community College president Thom Armstrong announced Monday he will retire from the top post in March.

“It has been an honor and privilege to have been selected to serve as president of Barstow Community College, working with the dedicated Board of Trustees, wonderful staff and members of the community,” Armstrong said in a prepared statement. “There’s a great team of leaders in place to continue the fine work of the institution.  Barstow Community College will always be a special place to me.”

Until his last day, Armstrong will continue to lead the work of the college administration as it prepares to respond to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges’ recommendations for improvement and subsequent follow-up report due March 15. He also plans to address the budgetary issues affecting the college if Proposition 30 not pass by the voters in November.

Armstrong started at BCC as interim vice president for academic affairs from September 2008 to May 2009. He served as acting vice president of student services for one month before he was hired as president of the college in June 2009.

In his time as president, Armstrong worked with college leaders to forge the college’s partnership with Excelsior public charter schools. He also oversaw the leasing of the building on State Street for the Career Technical Institute.

“I think one of the things I take a great deal of pride in, along with others, is ... providing workforce development for students and members of a community that will allow them to get meaningful jobs and by doing so be able to contribute to the economic development in Barstow,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong has worked in higher education more than 30 years, mostly with community colleges, as an administrator as well as a professor of history and political science.  

In retirement, Armstrong said he plans to spend time with family and friends, work on research and writing projects, hike, fish, camp and travel. He said he would like to eventually lend his expertise by serving as a consultant, an interim performing administrative duties, as well as teaching part time.

“It’s with mixed feelings (that I retire) and this the college ... I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for it,” Armstrong said. “For the time being my wife and I plan to stay in the area and be involved and stay involved.”

The Board of Trustees will soon begin the search process for a new president, the statement said.

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