New ESCC president addresses commission

Matt Rodgers

“Excited and humbled,” are the feelings that Enterprise High School Principal Matt Rodgers expressed as he found out that he had been selected to become the president of Enterprise State Community College Wednesday, Aug. 9 at the Alabama Community College System board meeting in Montgomery.

"I am excited and humbled to have the opportunity to continue serving the community I love and call home as the newly appointed President of Enterprise State Community College,” said Rodgers. “Thank you to Chancellor Baker and Board of Trustee Members, for having confidence in me to lead this wonderful institution. I look forward to working as a team to make Enterprise State Community College a positive learning experience for our students and residents.”

Right away Rodgers shared his vision for ESCC. “It is our goal to ensure that ESCC is a vital, thriving community college–an academic institution of which the Alabama Community College System and our community will take great pride in,” Rodgers said. 

“Whether a student is working on a license, certificate, an associate’s degree, trying to earn credit hours to transfer to a four-year college, or coming back to school to be retrained for a specific job, we want these students to have a positive experience at ESCC that helps them become successful long after they finish their course work."

Looking to the future Rodgers talked of working closely with the community to build a thriving academic institution. "I look forward to working with the principals, superintendents and industry reps in our service area,” Rodgers said. “I am extremely excited about the new partnerships that will be formed in the future between neighboring school districts, and Enterprise State Community College.”

It is my hope that strong relationships will benefit future students and graduates in our entire service area. We have wonderful students and residents in our community. We will act as a team and give them our very best. I can't wait to meet the ESCC faculty, staff, and student body and get started to work."

Rodgers is expected be in the office by Sept. 1.

“We are very pleased to welcome Matt Rodgers as the new president of Enterprise State,” says Olivier Charles, Dean of Student Services. “It was essential that we have an experienced, talented and innovative leader for the ESCC community, someone who will have a clear vision for the college and foster our growth. I’m confident the system office found that leader in Mr. Rodgers, and we are excited about his leadership.”

ESCC Foundation Chairman Dale Marsh said the Foundation is "pleased" that Rodgers' was selected as the community college's new president. 

"He has a long history of successful service in the public education sector, and is dedicated to teaching students to succeed academically, as well as developing their leadership and citizenship qualities," Marsh said. "He is a native of Coffee County and well respected throughout the Wiregrass and the ESCC service area in the field of public education. The Foundation looks forward to working with him and his faculty and staff in continuing to advance education and academic excellence at ESCC."

Enterprise City Schools Superintendent Greg Faught called Rodgers’ selection “a smart choice for Mr. Jimmy Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama two-year college system, and its board.

“Mr. Rodgers is well connected within our community and will help offer a seamless transitions for area students and citizens who choose to continue their education at ESCC,” Faught said. “He is hard working, intelligent, and imbued with a well developed sense of personal responsibility.

“They have found a winner in my opinion and I am excited to continue our working relationship as Mr. Rodgers moves forward into his new position,” Faught added. “While we hate to lose him at Enterprise High School, I view this as an eventual win-win for our city and Coffee County.” 

Faught said the EHS principal vacancy is posted and that he hopes to recommend a permanent replacement for Rodgers at the Aug. 29 Enterprise Board of Education meeting.

ESCC began a search for a permanent president in June. ESCC has been without a permanent president for more than three years. During that time, the college has had two interim presidents, Dr. Cynthia Anthony, who is now the interim president of Shelton State Community College, and Dr. Vicky Ohlson, the current interim president at ESCC.

Ohlson did not apply for the position but instead will return to work at the ACCS System Office in Montgomery, where she served as director of academic affairs before her appointment to ESCC.

ESCC is a comprehensive community college which serves more than 2,800 students annually between its Enterprise campus and the Alabama Aviation Colleges in Albertville, Andalusia, Mobile and Ozark. Each campus currently fulfills the Alabama Community College System’s mission for education and training which leads to high-wage, high-demand jobs in integral careers worldwide. Students can obtain Associate’s degrees and certificates through multiple programs at the college.

Rodgers is entering his 22nd year in education including work as a classroom teacher and coach. He is entering his sixth year as principal of Enterprise High School. He started his career as an educator at Zion Chapel High School where he served as a history teacher and coach for two years. He later moved to Andalusia High School where he served for 4 years as a teacher and coach. In 2001, Mr. Rodgers accepted a teaching and coaching position at Enterprise High School where he remained until 2007. He spent 4 years serving as an assistant principal at EHS.

Rodgers is an Alabama native. He is a graduate of New Brockton High School. He later attended the University of Alabama earning a bachelor's degree in Social Science. Rodgers later attended Troy University at Dothan earning a Master's in Educational Leadership.

He is married to Stacy Rodgers, system technologist for Enterprise City Schools, and they have one son, Liam.

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