Statement from Board Chair Jan Brocker on August 9, 2023 Vote To Protect Education Opportunities for GCC Students

Aug 9, 2023

I’d like to explain my vote here, if I may. Not so much from a personal perspective, but because this is such an important moment for the students of GCC and for the taxpayers of Gila County that this Board has been elected to represent.

The past few months have been a time of uncertainty for the District. This action today will alleviate that uncertainty for the near future, a fact that all of us are grateful for. I want to thank my fellow Board members, Sam Moorhead, Kurt Knauss, Connie Cockrell and Fernando Shipley, our amazing team of consultants led by Interim President, Dr. Janice Lawhorn, that include Lauri Avila (HR), Mary Springer (Procurement), Shawn Wakefield (IT}, our attorney, Tony Contente-Cuomo, our Publicist, David Leibowitz, and our Government Relations consultant, James Candland. We stuck to our principles and beliefs, we advocated strongly for our students, and we were able to persevere – even when hope was waning.

I especially want to thank Arizona State Senate President Warren Petersen for his work on this issue. Without Senator Petersen stepping up and urging both sides to settle this situation on behalf of our students, we would not have reached this watershed moment.

I want to thank our employees and the support we have seen from within our campuses. No one wants to come to work amid difficult circumstances. You all did so and you helped us push through this situation. And finally, I want to thank our students. Without you, we wouldn’t exist. And, as fraught with worry and angst as this summer ended up being, I hope you realize that we took these steps to ensure your future and the future of all students in Gila County.

I voted to approve this agreement because it protects educational opportunities for our students, and it protects the tax dollars we have been charged with stewarding. I thank EAC for taking action in a way that puts students first. I hope that this vote today represents a reset for this relationship, and that we can continue to act in the best interests of Gila County students over the next two years.

I welcome this new day for the Gila County Provisional Community College District. We still have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us, but I look forward to continuing this important work on behalf of our students, our employees, and all the residents and taxpayers of Gila County.

Dr. Jan Brocker
Governing Board President
Gila County Provisional Community College District