New trustee sworn in for Mesalands

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom Newspapers

A new trustee was sworn in at the regular monthly meeting of the Mesalands Community College board of trustees.

Liz Estrada was sworn in to fill the vacancy left when trustee J. Bronson Moore became board president.

She was also appointed as a trustee for the Mesalands Community College Foundation Inc. board, which she has served for several years as a member.

“I am looking forward to serving on both boards,” said Estrada. “I am a longtime supporter of the college, which is a vital asset to the community of Tucumcari.”

Financial Aid director Amanda Hammer presented Kadie Vernon with a Coca-Cola two-year colleges scholarship. Vernon is an equine science student at the college and is one of 400 recipients of the nationwide scholarship. The scholarship has been offered by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for eight years and has committed $400,000 annually to students attending two-year degree granting institutions.

The board was also asked to approve the Building Trades House plan, presented by Building Trades instructor Joel Farmer. The plan proposed to the board was for the students of the building trades program to build a three-bedroom, two-bath home at the corner of South Ninth Street and Mel De Luna Avenue.

The building materials will be made available through a HUD grant that will also allow the college to start a learn to earn program.
“The learn-to-earn program will be a great chance for students to earn a diploma in building trades and pay for their education,” said Farmer. “Students would be paid minimum wage for 19 hours a week that they work on the project. The students would still be eligible for other financial aid programs as well.”

Other items before the board of trustees included:
• Mesalands Community college was awarded the Carl Perkins Grant for $15,430 to used for the building trades programs and the Excel Energy Grant for $7,500 for a total of $22,930 in grants.
• Approval of College charges update which include:
• In automotive and diesel repair per activity rate from 10 percent of a flat rate to $8 a flag hour for automotive and $10 a flag hour for diesel. The increase also included a 20 percent surcharge on all parts.

• In the Commercial Drivers License Examination the fees changed were:
Retesting (basic control skills and road test) from $120 to $140
Retesting (road test) from $97.50 to $100
Out of region travel fee from 40 cents a mile to 32 cents a mile.
Out of region per diem from $63/a night to $85/a night
Rental of college vehicle (Tucumcari site only) from $100 to $150
Refresher (two hour minimum) from $75 an hour to $100 an hour
The board of trustees approved the Strategic Plan Phase II Institutional Planning strategies for 2006-2009 and the Strategic Goals and Tactical Objectives for 2007-2008.