Hundreds of well-wishers gathered in Woodway Hall on the Edmonds Community College campus Thursday evening to honor outgoing College President Dr. Jean Hernandez.
One by one, those who had worked with Hernandez — from the colleges Board of Trustees to faculty members to students to community members to elected officials — described the attributes that Hernandez had brought to the school during her six years as president.
Emily Yim, a member of the college’s Board of Trustees, called Hernandez “one of the most amazing, genuine persons I have ever had the pleasure to meet.” College Foundation Board Member Doug Fair said she was “truly a leader in the community, with an openness and a willingness to serve that is simply astounding.” Local veterans thanked Hernandez for her unwavering support of student veterans, including her work on the Boots to Books and Beyond Campaign to enhance the college’s veterans services.
In honor of Dr. Hernandez’s service to the college and community, the Edmonds CC Foundation has launched the Hernandez-Foy Second Chance Endowed Scholarship, which will provide funding to students with histories of incarceration or homelessness. Hernandez and her spouse, Erin Foy, established the Hernandez-Foy Second Chance Scholarship in 2012.
Hernandez, who was named Edmonds Community College president in January 2011, will retire at the end of December. During her tenure at Edmonds CC, she received the Oscar Eason Jr. Community Service Award from NAACP, the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Washington.
Christina Castorena, vice president for student services, will serve as interim Edmonds CC president until the college’s Board of Trustees concludes its presidential search. It is anticipated that the next president will begin duties no later than July 1, 2018.
— Story and photos by Teresa Wippel