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TC Trustees meet for Final Board Meeting of 2023 to Recognize Employee Retirements and SACSCOC Approval of New Aviation Maintenance Program

The Texarkana College Board of Trustees held their final meeting of 2023 on Monday. At the top of the meeting, TC president, Dr. Jason Smith, announced the retirement of Rick Boyette, TC’s Executive Director of Facilities, and Wanda Boyette, TC’s Landscape Coordinator. Dr. Smith said the Boyette team has been instrumental in oversight of building projects, capital improvements, and beautification of the campus for more than a decade.

“No words can begin to be enough to thank Rick and Wanda for their service and commitment to TC,” said Dr. Smith. “Rick’s years of experience in construction, his vision for design and attention to detail, coupled with his ability to complete projects amid financial limitations and seemingly impossible deadlines, will never cease to amaze me. What Rick and his entire facilities team has accomplished for TC and this community is truly remarkable.”

Rick began his tenure with TC as an instructor of construction technology in 2007. Three years later, Rick was appointed to step in as Director of Facility Services. Since that time, Rick has managed all custodial and ground operations, led a staff of more than thirty employees, served as TC’s general contractor by “in-housing” all campus construction projects, maintained relations with numerous vendors, and upheld regulatory and operational compliance throughout all campus facilities. Major building projects accomplished under Rick’s leadership include the establishment of the Ross Perot Leadership Museum and Classroom located inside TC’s Palmer Memorial Library (2014-2016); the construction of the Betty and Buddy Ledwell Workforce Training Center (November 2018); the construction of the McCulloch Industrial Technology Building (February 2023); and the renovation of three existing buildings along with the construction of a connector building to establish the James Henry Russell STEM Complex (October 2023).

“Rick’s leadership has left a legacy of excellence for our students and our community, and we are so grateful to him for his years of service and project management,” said Dr. Smith. “Having Wanda’s leadership and vision for our landscape has provided a safer and more beautiful campus for our students and our community. The Boyettes are truly a dynamic duo, and we wish them both the absolute best in their retirement.”

TC Trustees were joined at the meeting by TC employees and members of the Boyette family to congratulate Rick and Wanda on their retirement. In addition, former TC President, Dr. James Henry Russell, provided a recorded video message to thank the Boyettes for their service to TC during his time as president, and to acknowledge their many outstanding contributions to the TC campus culture which will serve as their legacies.

Rick and Wanda Boyette family with TC Trustees
Rick and Wanda Boyette family with TC Trustees

In other Board business, Trustees heard a report by Dr. Dixon Boyles, Vice President of Instruction, who conveyed the results of the recent decision by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools- Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to approve the establishment of an Aviation Mechanics training program at the Texarkana Regional Airport. SACSCOC is the body for the accreditation of degree-granting in higher education in the southern states of the USA. Dr. Boyles said receiving this good news from SACSCOC allows TC to move forward with the initiative.

“We are so pleased to receive notification that our new Aviation Mechanics training program has been fully accredited by SACSCOC,” said Dr. Boyles. “There is a huge shortage of trained mechanics throughout the aviation industry sector and the establishment of an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Aviation Mechanics will help build a skilled workforce in our region and enable students to enter a high demand career pathway with great earning potential.”

Dr. Boyles said students can begin application to the program in the spring with an expected start date of Fall 2024.

“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,” said Dr. Boyles.

In other business, Trustees reviewed the College’s and the TC Foundation’s 2022-2023 audit report for fiscal year ending August 31, 2023. 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. The TC Foundation audit also showed a strong net position with no findings.

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