Passion for Education Leads Alumnus to the John Tyler Community College Board
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Released on November 28, 2018
CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Like many parents, Kenneth Pritchett wanted to support and nurture his two daughters as they began their educational journeys in elementary school. So, he decided to join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). He soon found himself taking lead roles in the organization, first being elected vice president and then president. His experience with the PTA was life-changing. It inspired him to attend trainings and workshops and to learn more about advocacy; parent and student rights; and leadership roles in education. It also expanded his interest in service and prompted him to run for the Petersburg City Public School Board. In 2006 Pritchett was elected to the Board to represent Ward 3, and currently, he serves as the Board’s chair, a position he’s held for the past 11 years.
As he became more involved in advocacy, Pritchett’s passion for education continued to grow, and with that growth came a desire to earn a college education. He also wanted to set an example for others. “For me to encourage students to attend college and obtain a degree, I needed to obtain my degree,” said Pritchett.” So, he enrolled in John Tyler Community College, and after one-and-a-half-years, he earned an Associate of Applied Science in Human Services and a Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling. Pritchett then transferred to Norfolk State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. He is currently in graduate school, taking classes toward a Master of Arts in Pre-Elementary Education.
In late 2017, Pritchett was given a new opportunity to give back to his community when the Petersburg City Council appointed him to represent the city on the John Tyler Community College (JTCC) Board. Pritchett calls the appointment “a blessing,” saying it will allow him to do more to connect the citizens of Petersburg with the educational opportunities offered by his alma mater. “At JTCC, a student or citizen can obtain certification, job skill training, a certificate, and a degree,” he says. “JTCC is a college where great professors will prepare you for the real world of work or prepare you to transfer to a four-year institution. JTCC is an affordable college with rigorous standards. We are grateful for the partnership JTCC has with Petersburg City Public Schools.”
In addition to his roles with JTCC and the Petersburg School Board, Pritchett chaired, from November 2016 – November 2018, the Southside Region School Board, which includes 18 school districts in Southside Virginia, and he serves on the regional board of Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies. He has more than 30 years with the Commonwealth of Virginia and currently works as a privacy officer for Central State Hospital.
John Tyler Community College offers more than 60 majors that provide pathways to careers in high-demand fields; transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities; and industry credentials and licensures. The college, with campuses in Chester and Midlothian, a Nursing Education Center, online classes, and off-campus classrooms, served more than 14,329 students during the 2017-18 academic year. It also assisted more than 7,000 learners through its workforce development division, Community College Workforce Alliance.
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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager