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October 17
1837 - Trapper Peter LaBeck killed by grizzly bear at El Tejon [story]


Dr. Dena Maloney

Dr. Dena Maloney, who oversaw the development and opening of the Canyon Country campus of College of the Canyons and serves as a Vice President/Assistant Superintendent of the Santa Clarita Community College District, is leaving to become the Chief Executive Officer at Taft College and the Superintendent/President of West Kern Community College District. She takes office in May.

She succeeds Willy Duncan who left the district last year to become Superintendent /President of the Sierra Community College District in Rocklin, CA.

The announcement came late Thursday morning from the college.

“The Board of Trustees is very pleased that Dr. Maloney has accepted the CEO position at Taft College,” said Billy White, president of the WKCCD Board of Trustees. “We look forward to her capable leadership through these challenging financial times and into the future. We are excited to welcome her to the college and community.”

Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook had high praise for the departing professor.

“I have been inspired by Dena as she stretched and grew and eagerly took on new responsibilities and worked to broaden her contributions to our district while sharing her time and expertise at the state level.  Given her education, experience, work ethic, and breadth of knowledge, she is more than ready to take on this new challenge.”

Maloney started at COC in the early 1990s to launch training programs for the local business community; she was named director of the Employee Training Institute in 1997. In 2001, she became dean of economic development and was selected as the founding dean of the Canyon Country Campus, which opened in fall 2007. In 2009, she became the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Canyon Country Campus and Economic Development.

“Under Dena’s leadership, the Economic Development Division at College of the Canyons has generated more than $15 million in revenue, trained 18,000 employees at 3,000 companies and enabled the District to support new initiatives, resulting in new instructional equipment, development of new curriculum, professional development for faculty, and new opportunities for students,” Van Hook wrote.

“At the Canyon Country Campus, Dena has helped lay a foundation of success for the campus during its first five years of operation.  With her careful oversight and contagious enthusiasm, together with the team there, her leadership has led to the quick development of programs and services for students, and the creation of successful events that have drawn the community to the campus.  As well, she played a key leadership role in the addition of the Applied Technology Education Center to the campus.”

“I will miss her immensely both personally and professionally,” Van Hook continued. “She will be an excellent leader and CEO who can help Taft continue to thrive in challenging times, and I look forward to seeing her as a CEO colleague.”

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