Highland Community College Hires New College President

The Highland Community College Board of Trustees announced they have named Deborah Fox as the 44th President of Highland Community College. The announcement was made after a unanimous roll call vote with all members present at a special meeting March 11.

Deborah Fox, currently of Independence, Kansas, is set to take the role as of July 1, 2019.

Fox currently serves as Director of Business Operations & Management for USD #446, Independence. Previously, she served Highland Community College as the Vice President of Finance & Operations and Assistant Dean of Regional Instruction. She holds a Master of Science in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Higher Education from Fort Hays State University and an MBA in General Administration from Pittsburg State University.

Fox said, “I want to thank the Board of Trustees for putting their faith in me to lead Highland as President. I am excited about the next chapter and to see what it has in store for Northeast Kansas.”

Board of Trustee Chair Tom Smith said the Board voted unanimously. “We feel Deborah interacted well with campus, constituents and will be a great fit in the community. She knows Highland having spent 14 years as Highland’s Vice President of Finance and Operations. She will be able to hit the ground running and comes with plenty of experience.”

Smith continued, “President Reist and his cabinet have a great strategic plan in place, and we’ve seen tremendous growth in our technical programs, namely at our Atchison Technical Center. Deb was here when we started forming that partnership and will be able to lead us and continue that trend.”

Current President David Reist announced his retirement to the Board of Trustees effective June 2019 after 38 years with Highland.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.