ICCC's longtime leader steps down, Samuelson called college 'cornerstone'

Friday, October 20, 2000

Mel Samuelson has devoted his life to education and when he stepped down from his position as president of the Iowa Central Community College Board of Trustees at the Oct. 10 meeting, he didn't say he would no longer take an interest.

Samuelson, the retired superintendent of schools in Storm Lake, has lived, taught and been involved in school administration in Buena Vista County his entire life. He was very instrumental in the development of the Storm Lake center of Iowa Central Community College and has taken an active role in the revitalization of the Fort Dodge-based school in his six-year, two-term stint as board president.

About the same time as Samuelson was elected to his first term, Dr. Robert Paxton arrived as school president, and all aspects of Iowa Central have been on a steady upswing ever since.

Samuelson was elected to the Iowa Central board in 1987. He had retired from Storm Lake's school system in 1986. "It's been a real interesting time. When I first arrived at Iowa Central, I was concerned because we had the highest enrollment fees of any of the state's 15 community colleges.

"Dr. Paxton arrived and pumped life into the school. Now the fees are among the lowest in the state and enrollment has almost doubled," Samuelson said.

Samuelson is especially proud of Iowa Central's Storm Lake center. He was involved in that aspect of the college when he was still a school superintendent. "We had one of the first programs where the community college came and offered high school classes. We had an auto mechanics class and a vocational-agriculture class," Samuelson said.

Read the rest of this article in the 10/19 Pilot Tribune.

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