New WKCTC president Anton Reece talks goals during first day

West Kentucky Technical and Community College has a new person in charge. Dr. Anton Reece spent his first full day on campus on Monday.

"I guarantee you that if you step into the arena of education, all things being equal, that it will transform your life," Reece said.

From one handshake to the next, Reece had a busy day full of meet and greets with students and staff.

"It’s been busy and engaging, and that’s the way I like it," Reece said.

Reece is no stranger to the college. He started his career in higher education at Paducah Community College in 1990.

"It’s heartwarming to see the growth of college and national recognition," Reece said.

Continuing that national recognition is on Reece’s to-do list. He also wants to boost enrollment by encouraging more students between the ages of 25 and 40 and students who may think they can’t afford it to enroll. 

"Is a very critical group that we want to be able to participate in education and not let economic barriers to prevent them from doing so," Reece said.

Reece says in an ideal world he would lower the costs of education and raise pay for educators, but that is not reality.

"Rising cost of education the community and technical college in terms of cost and tuition is fairly affordable," Reece said.

He says if you have any interest in going back to school, between scholarships and other financial aid, the college will work with you and find a way to help you finish out your education.

First year WKCTC student Laurin Boyd wants to eventually go to Murray State University and become an X-ray technician, but achieving her goals isn’t easy. 

"It’s hard when you’re a college kid, when you’re trying to get your education and work at the same time," Boyd said. 

She says she can use all the help she can from teachers and leadership at the college getting into the classes she needs. That’s why, when she met Reece, she was happy he was chosen as the college’s new president. 

"He’s new, and I’m sure not a lot of people know that he cares. I got to meet him, and it made me feel better about him, because he talked to me and asked me questions. And he should make an effort to do it with everyone else," Boyd said.

English 101 Professor Tracy Cothran Jordan worked with Reece when he first worked at Paducah Community College in 1990.

"I think he’ll be a person who keep us all on the same page. You know our goal here is student success and for me that means every student on this campus. We want them to succeed," Jordan said.

Jordan says giving all students the education they need is a goal for her and the school’s new president.

Reece also plans to meet with local businesses to make sure students are getting the best training to build up the workforce.
     
He replaces president Dr. Barbara Veazey, who was president for 14 years before retiring in July.

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