Director wins first Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award

Antonio Salcido and Queila Omena, Staff Writers

Marsha Wright, the Equal Opportunity Programs and Services Director, received the first Outstanding Administrator of the Year award, at the March 28 Board of Trustees meeting.

“I would like to think that I won because of my passion for serving students, my willingness to [go] beyond the programs that I supervise… and to participate and volunteer in other activities on campus,” said Wright.

The Equal Opportunity Programs supports low income and educationally underprepared students, Wright said. It also offers three summer bridge programs, one for single parent students, one for recently released inmates or people on parole, and one for local high school seniors.

Wright has been featured in Noozhawk and was one of The Independent’s “Local Heroes” for the exemplary work she puts into the programs and the volunteer work she does in the community.

“I’m a face behind great programs where the programs, really, are what are newsworthy,” said Wright. “It’s not me.”

The Running Start program is aimed in getting high school seniors who have no desire for higher education, to City College.  The program pays students’ transportation, enrollment and book fees, as well as provides field trips for students to have fun.

Without this program, these students would not be motivated in pursuing a college education.

“I now market Running Start as our ‘no excuses-program,’” said Wright. “We took away all these individuals’ excuses to why they weren’t coming to college and developed a program to answer those excuses.”

The Running Start program began 14 years ago and continues to be a great success, with 92-percent of students continuing their education after completing the program.

“Marsha has been very helpful… she always interacts with us and you can always step into her office and talk to her,” said Angelica Dominguez, 19. “If it wasn’t for the program I wouldn’t be here working hard and getting good grades.”

As Administrator of the Year, Wright was awarded $2,000, while the Classified Employee of the Year received $1000. The monetary prize difference created a controversy amongst college staff.

“As [administrators] we wrote up the criteria and award amount and was approved without question,” said Wright. “If other groups feel their award recognitions are not fairly compensated they should request a change.”

Wright’s hard work and dedication for student success is respected and admired by her students, staff, and colleagues.

“Without her large and caring heart, EOPS would not be what it is,” said administrative assistant, Harla Hampton. “She makes us all better staff members.”

Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin introduced the winner of the Administrator of the Year Award.

“She is a true example of a servant leader,” said Gaskin “…her focus in life is simple. It’s all about students and all of us are truly inspired by Marsha Wright.”