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Chancellor appoints three to top spots at Alabama community colleges

Chancellor Jimmy Baker on Tuesday announced the appointment of three presidents to state community colleges. 

Alabama Community College System logo.

Alabama Community College System’s Chancellor Jimmy Baker on Tuesday announced the appointment of three presidents to state community colleges. 

Baker named Joel Hagood as president of Bevill State Community College.  Hagood has worked in education in Walker County since 1997, and currently serves as Superintendent of Walker County Schools. Previously he was principal at Oakman High School and director of curriculum in the Walker County School System. 

“When you combine Dr. Hagood’s proven leadership with his local expertise you get an ideal candidate for Bevill State’s next President,” Baker said in a statement. “Bevill State’s diversity in programs matches its diversity in geography and I’m confident that with Dr. Hagood at the helm the college will continue to move the needle on student success.”

“Walker County and the surrounding areas are home and it’s an honor to lead a college with such history and purpose in our region,” Hagood said in a statement. “I am focused on continuing Bevill State’s legacy as a game-changer in education and workforce development and I look forward to being part of its growth for the future.” 

Baker also appointed Brock Kelley as president of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. Kelley was appointed Interim president of the college in September. 

“Dr. Kelley’s dynamic leadership style and career-long commitment to helping students succeed makes him the ideal candidate to fill this role at LBW,” Baker said. “The faculty, staff, and students in Andalusia, Greenville, Luverne, and Opp will be well-served by Dr. Kelley’s experience in the classroom and in the workforce development community.” 

Kelley previously served as regional director of workforce development for the Alabama Community College System. Before joining the ACCS, Kelley served as director of workforce development for the Alabama Department of Education. 

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“It is a tremendous honor to serve my alma mater in this capacity,” Kelley said in a statement. “LBW is a special place that serves unique communities across our service area and I look forward to continuing to work alongside our faculty, staff, and students as we continue our commitment to top quality education and skills training for all those we serve.” 

Baker also appointed Joe Whitmore as president of Snead State Community College. Whitmore has served as Interim President at the college since June.  

“Mr. Whitmore has been a committed member of the Snead State family for many years and will be a capable leader for the college moving forward,” Baker said. “The Sand Mountain community will be well-served by Joe’s decades of higher education experience and commitment to student success both inside and outside the classroom.” 

Whitmore began working in higher education in 1994, as director of business services at Jacksonville State University. During his 22-year career at Jacksonville State, he held the roles of director of institutional analysis, director of institutional support services, and finally associate vice president for business and auxiliary services. 

“Snead State is unmatched in our commitment to create the ultimate student experience whether in person or online and it’s an honor to lead the Parson community at this unique time,” Whitmore said in a statement. “Snead has continued to evolve over its more than 122 years of service and I look forward to continuing to work alongside our faculty, staff, and students as we chart our path forward.”

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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The Alabama Community College System is made up of 24 colleges and more than 130 locations.