Texarkana College Trustees Welcome New Member to the Board and Approve Next Steps for New Aviation Mechanics Technology Program


The Texarkana College Board of Trustees held their final meeting of 2022 on Monday. At the top of the meeting, newly reelected members were sworn in for Place 2 and Place 6. Lesley Ledwell Dukelow (Place 2, term ending 2028), and Brad Carlow (Place 6, term ending 2026) both ran unopposed in the November 2022 election. on November 15, 2022, Derrick McGary, Place 1 board member, submitted his resignation from his position due to a change in his residence address which moved him out of the Place 1 district. Tiffani Neal was appointed to serve as the trustee representing Place 1 for the remainder of the term ending in 2028 and was also sworn in during the board meeting.

TC president, Dr. Jason Smith, said McGary’s commitment to the College has benefited students as well as the community.

“We are grateful to Mr. McGary who has shown his tireless dedication to TC through his service on our board – through some exciting, yet very tough times in the history of our college,” said Smith. “We hope to keep Mr. McGary engaged with the College in the future because of his leadership and commitment to the advancement of the College and our students. We are looking forward to the year ahead with continued leadership from Mrs. Dukelow and Mr. Carlow and to bring on new member Tiffani Neal.”

Neal works for Liberty-Eylau ISD as the Gifted and Talented Facilitator and the Gifted and Talented teacher/mentor for 5-12 grade students. She has served as a Texas public school teacher for 28 years at Malta ISD (10 yrs.) and LEISD (18 yrs.). Neal is a graduate of University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in education. She and her husband, Jeff Neal, have been married for 29 years and have two grown children: daughter Tori and son Caleb.

Additional business included board approval for TC to seek SACSCOC approval to establish the Texarkana Regional Airport as an off-campus training site for a new Aviation Mechanics Technology Program. President Smith said seeking SACSCOC approval is the next step in the process of moving forward with the initiative.

“We are seeking approval from our accrediting agency to move forward with this exciting opportunity that will bring a new set of students to our region and expand opportunities for our community,” said Smith. “There is a huge shortage of trained aviation personnel throughout the industry sector and the establishment of 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 credits for the program on-site at the Texarkana Regional Airport as a traditional, hands-on and face-to-face class. The remaining credits will be offered on TC’s campus or in an online format.

“Once approved by SACSCOC to move forward, we will be seeking a partnership with an aviation school to assist in the hiring of new instructional personnel to teach the program,” said Smith. “Initial equipment and establishment of the off-site facility will be covered by grants, tuition, and state formula funding. We anticipate the initial cohort of students to be approximately twenty students and the anticipated start date of the program to be July 2023.”

In other business, trustees reviewed the College’s and the TC Foundation’s 2021-2022 audit report for fiscal year ending August 31, 2022. The independent audit was conducted by Thomas and Thomas, Certified Public Accountants, PLLC. Tim Holt, audit manager for Thomas & Thomas CPA firm, reported that TC’s audit resulted in a positive net position with no findings and a balanced budget. The TC Foundation audit also showed a strong net position with no findings.

During the College President’s report, Dr. Smith announced the retirement of Kim Jones, TC’s Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Dr. Smith said Jones has been a pillar of strength for TC through the years of service and her leadership has helped guide the College to financial sustainability and excellent fiscal management practices.

“No words can begin to be enough to thank Kim Jones for her service and commitment to TC,” said Smith. “Kim’s professional accounting skills, her calm demeanor, and sterling reputation has left a legacy of excellence for our organization. She has stayed the course through many peaks and valleys during her time at TC, and we are so grateful to her for her years of service and leadership.”

Bradley Hoover will assume the position of Chief Financial Officer beginning January 1, 2023. Hoover has worked at TC since 2010 as a staff accountant, Director of Purchasing, and most recently as Controller. Hoover is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and a master’s degree in business administration.

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