Stephen Schoonmaker, Ed.D., has more than 30 years experience as an educator and previously served four years as president of a two-year college in Arkansas. He will replace retiring COS Superintendent/President Scotty Thomason beginning July 1, 2017.

College of the Siskiyous announced Tuesday that Stephen Schoonmaker, Ed.D., has been hired to succeed Scotty Thomason as Superintendent/President beginning July 1, 2017.

Dr. Schoonmaker has more than 30 years experience as an educator, served four years as president of a two-year college in Arkansas, and is the founder of Cross County Leadership Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in leadership coaching, strategic planning, systems thinking, and change management.

“The Trustees and I look forward to working with Dr. Schoonmaker,” COS Board of Trustees president Greg Hanna states in a press release. “As a former President, he has an understanding of the many hats that need to be and are worn on a daily basis as an educational leader and community college administrator. He understands the importance of education and the value California’s community college system provides our students and our community. We believe Dr. Schoonmaker is the best fit for our college and the right person to have as our next leader.”

Schoonmaker will become the 12th Superintendent/President of the Siskiyou Joint Community College District, following Thomason, who announced his retirement in December 2016.

Schoonmaker was one of three candidates recommended to the Board of Trustees for the position by a 13-member presidential search committee. The committee held 11 semi-finalist interviews and forwarded three final candidates who were invited to the college for campus tours, public community forums, and individual meetings with the Board, according to the press release.

The release included the following information about Dr. Schoonmaker:

He earned his doctoral degree in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Community College Leadership from New Mexico State University.

His first full-time higher education position was in California, working at the University of California, Davis.

From that experience he developed a professional network and an understanding of California higher education and shared governance that has shaped his higher education career.

He began in Student Services ultimately becoming a Chief Student Affairs Officer; and then took positions in Academic Administration, rising to the level of Vice President, working at two coastal community colleges in Oregon (Southwestern Oregon and Clatsop) from 2005-2011.

In fall 2011, Dr. Schoonmaker was selected to serve as President of College of the Ouachitas, a two-year college located in south-central Arkansas.

During his four-year tenure from January 2012 to December 2015, “enrollments stabilized, new college locations were opened, programs were revised and new programs added, a college endowment was established, and the year-end budget balance increased 62% while offering employees annual COLAs and increasing faculty salaries to restore the College’s faculty pay scale.”

A welcome reception for the community to meet Dr. Schoonmaker will be held during the fall semester.