MALTA — Rochelle resident Geri-Dee Hayden joined the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees during its May 4 meeting.
Hayden and Sycamore resident Kathy Countryman were both elected to the Board in April to fill the seats of retiring Trustees Ken Doubler and Dr. Roberta “Bobbi” Burke — both of whom did not seek re-election.
Hayden brings familiarity with higher education into her new role. For more than a decade, she has served on the Kishwaukee College Foundation Board of Directors, most recently acting as Treasurer.
Her professional background is in finance, having worked in commercial banking before recently taking a role with AC Johnston Holdings in Rockford. Hayden said she has seen firsthand how community colleges can provide a positive impact in the region they serve, and she wanted to continue to give Rochelle a voice on Kish’s Board.
“I think it is important to have representation from the wide geography Kish serves,” Hayden said. “I also have a vested interest in the college and the role they serve in providing opportunities for our communities.”
Hayden is familiar with the community college experience, having started her higher education journey at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon. Along with her long tenure on the Foundation Board of Directors, she has also served as a member of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees Audit Committee.
Hayden said her small-town upbringing, paired with her extensive background in finance, will lend a unique perspective to the board of trustees, where she hopes to continue to help Kish offer students a variety of educational and career possibilities.
“I want to see the College continue to develop different pathways for our students. Not everyone seeks out a four-year degree,” Hayden said. “Kish has done a great job developing these pathways to create more opportunities within the community.”