Education

One of these finalists will be Cuesta College’s next president

Kimberlee Messina, Jerry Buckley, Barry Gribbons, Georgia Lorenz and Jill Stearns have been named finalists for Cuesta College’s superintendent and president position. The public can ask the candidates questions during an open forum on the San Luis Obispo campus on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
Kimberlee Messina, Jerry Buckley, Barry Gribbons, Georgia Lorenz and Jill Stearns have been named finalists for Cuesta College’s superintendent and president position. The public can ask the candidates questions during an open forum on the San Luis Obispo campus on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

Finalists have been selected to take over as Cuesta College’s next superintendent and president, a position that will officially become available in June when Gil Stork retires for the second time.

Stork, a San Luis Obispo native and graduate of San Luis Obispo High School and Cal Poly, will serve his last day June 30. The new president will start work July 1.

Members of the public, faculty and staff can ask the candidates questions during an open forum on the San Luis Obispo campus beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday, the school announced in a news release.

The forum will be in Building 5400, Room 5401. A live broadcast of the forum also will be at the North County Campus in Dallons Hall, Building N3100, Room N3102.

The Cuesta College Board of Trustees then will interview the finalists at a closed session meeting March 1. The selection will be announced during a future open session board meeting, the school said. (There were five finalists, but Kimberlee Messina withdrew her candidacy.)

After nearly 50 years with San Luis Obispo’s community college, Cuesta College President Gil Stork announced August 18, 2017, that he will retire. His last day will be June 30, 2018. Here he reflects on his biggest accomplishment of the past eight

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The finalists and their corresponding forum times are:

Dr. Jill Stearns

Background: Stearns earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration at Cal Poly. She went on the receive a master’s degree in instructional technology from National University and a doctorate in education/community college leadership at Walden University.

Stearns has served as president at Modesto Junior College since 2012.

Forum time: 9 to 9:50 a.m.

Dr. Georgia Lorenz

Background: Lorenz completed her bachelor’s degree in English at Stanford. She received a master’s degree in education and social policy from Northwestern, and later earned a doctorate in education policy, planning and administration at USC.

Lorenz currently serves as the vice president of academic affairs at Santa Monica College.

Forum time: 10:30 to 11:20 a.m.

Dr. Jerry Buckley

Background: Buckley received his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from USC. He earned a master’s degree in biology from Cal State Fullerton and a doctorate in education from San Diego State.

Buckley has served as the assistant superintendent/vice president of academic affairs for College of the Canyons since 2013.

Forum time: 1:30 to 2:20 p.m.

Dr. Barry Gribbons

Background: Gribbons received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal State Northridge. He earned a master’s degree in educational psychology and a doctorate in education, measurement and statistics from USC.

Gribbons currently serves as deputy chancellor for the Santa Clarita Community College District.

Forum time: 2:50 to 3:40 p.m.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Monday, Feb. 19, with information regarding Kimberlee Messina’s withdrawal from consideration.

The California Men’s Colony prison will graduate its first class of culinary arts students on Friday, December 15, 2017, from a program that partners with Cuesta College.

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