Dixie Tech president announces retirement after 30 years of technical education

In this file photo, Kelle Estefanos, President of the College of Applied Technology, celebrated the grand victory of the college on its construction of the new campus at the Ridge Top Complex in St. George Utah on December 7, 2016. Photo by Julie Applet, St. George News

ST. GeorgeDeli Technical College President Kelle Estefanos has announced plans to retire on April 30 after a three-year vocational training and professional development in Southern Utah.

In this September 2021 file photo, Lane Erickson (left) and Dixie Technical College President Kelle Estefanos (right) walk to the ribbon cut to celebrate Dixie Business Alliance, St. George, Utah | Photo by David Dudley, St George’s News

During a regular board meeting on Wednesday, Stephen met with the board of trustees and shared his announcement with the college’s faculty and staff. Dixie Tech shared the news in a press release thanking current and former board members.

She explained to St. George the story of OK and Kno’s philosophy, explaining why she had decided to retire.

Stephens: “I have been very committed for the last 10 years and I have said to Dixie Tech ‘yes, yes, yes’, which means I will not accept my husband. I said no to my children, and I told my grandchildren. I absolutely love the college, in fact, I love everything about it, but I have to set it up and let someone else take it to the next level. Now is the time to start agreeing with my family and some of the things I want to do. ”

With a love for family history, Stephen said that she had planned a vacation with her husband to visit her grandmother’s country of Yugoslavia. When she returned to the United States, she finally longed to attend her grandchildren’s lacrosse games and visit her children and grandchildren often.

When Stephen spoke about what he was missing out on, he focused on missing out on opportunities to make a difference in society.

“I miss being in a circle,” says Stephen. “I miss sitting down and talking about challenges and problem solving and being knowledgeable. I wish I hadn’t left this wonderful circle of people crossing my shoulders every day – that I really miss.

A new direction

Kelle Estefanos has served as President of Dixie Technical College since 2012 (formerly known as Dixie Applied Technology College), St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo by Dixie Technical College, St. George News

Stephen moved from Priscilla, Utah, 30 years ago to St. George. After graduating from Brigham Young University and Utah State University with a master’s degree in social sciences, she began working at Dicky College in 1992.

Her first 18 vocational training was spent as a custom training director working with local businesses to provide training in a variety of industries. A.D. In 2006, she moved to Dixie Applied Technology College – What Happens to Dixie Tech – Stephen continued her teaching career in 2010.

It was at this point that Stephen realized that there was a problem with the enrollment process and the curriculum structure. Like its peers, Dixie Tech worked under an open-entry and exit model that allowed students to join classes at almost any time and work at their own pace.

The current Vice President for Education, Jordan Rashton, explains the challenges of the old model and describes the change in student experience during Stephen’s leadership.

“Primarily, the students come in and work at their own pace, but eventually they have to educate themselves,” Rashton said. It was up to them to decide how deep they went or how fast they went in the process. President Stephen thought that the students would do better as a group, on a team-based basis, even though it was not very popular at the time. She worked hard to make this happen in all of our programs, and she was very, very successful.

Under the leadership of President Stephen, classroom changes have been made to enhance student engagement and collaboration, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Dixie Technical College, St. George News

Stephen began to transform programs into a new model, and in 2012 he was elected President of the College.

Graduation rate has increased by more than 20 percent since then, says Rashton. Today, Dixie Tech has 26 accredited programs in nursing, diesel and automotive technology, culinary arts and more.

Changing the guidelines was one of the proud consequences of Stephen’s life, and she said it would further improve the quality of teachers and the limited use of existing learning spaces.

Inheritance of development

The second characteristic of Stephen’s presidency was the establishment of a modern campus for Dixie Tech.

“It is very difficult to convince students and parents that their child will receive a good education in an out-of-school facility,” Stephen said. “I went to work begging and asking for money to support our permanent campus and asking for all the games to be played. In 2015, we were finally given the financial support to build what we have now.

Photo courtesy of Tech Ridge St. George, Utah’s main campus for Dixie Technical College, March 28, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kesler, St George’s News

Despite the challenges of zoning, design and construction, it is expected to be completed in March 2018.

“We now have this wonderful tool that legalizes technical education in Washington County,” Stephen said. “It tells parents that their children will grow up here. It says it will serve the students for the rest of their lives if they choose to attend technical college.

Stephen’s colleagues say that they left their mark on the school, not on the school, but on their lives.

Ruston said, “After a long day of work, you go home and not the only college president in the state. ”She is constantly serving the people she leads.. She misses him so much, and she leaves her shoes big and big to fill.

Marie Crashowetz, executive director of the Southern Utah Builders’ Association and board of directors, has helped Dixie Tech and its graduates make a difference.

Crashowetz says, “She is a great leader who truly cares about our students and wants to create the best possible jobs. “She had a vision and she went through a lot of obstacles to make the Dixie Technical College campus a reality on the tech range. I have known Kell for over 20 years, and I am so grateful that we have been able to work together for so long.

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