LINCOLN, Neb. - Michelle Suarez was elected chair of the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees at its June Board meeting. Suarez joined the board in 2007 to fill the unexpired term of Willa Kosman of Scottsbluff. Suarez was reappointed to a six-year term by Governor Heineman in 2009.
The seven member board is responsible for policy oversight of the NSCS, which includes Chadron, Peru and Wayne State Colleges. Suarez has served as vice chair of the board and chair of the student affairs, marketing and enrollment committee.
“I strongly believe that education transforms lives. The NSCS is committed to providing a quality, accessible education, and I appreciate the opportunity to serve as chair of the board. The work we do as a board impacts individuals, families, our communities and regions, and the state of Nebraska and beyond,” Suarez said.
Suarez has been the principal at Everett School in Lincoln since 2010. Prior to that, Suarez served as principal at Calvert Elementary School for three years. She also served as a coordinator at Beattie Elementary School and taught kindergarten, first and sixth grades.
She was a first grade teacher in Wilber-Clatonia and worked at the Nebraska Summer Migrant Schools in Scottsbluff and Gering instructing children ages 3-8 for six years.
A graduate of Scottsbluff High School, Suarez earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
She and her husband, John, reside in Lincoln and are the parents of two daughters, one who graduated in 2012 from the University of Nebraska with a degree in psychology while their other daughter will graduate in 2014 with a degree in elementary and special education
NSCS Chancellor Stan Carpenter said, “I am happy to see Michelle become chair of the board. As an outstanding educator, Michelle will continue providing great insight and perspective as the NSCS serves the needs of our students and Nebraska, now and into the future.”
Gary Bieganski of Chadron was elected vice-chair of the Board of Trustees. In addition to serving as vice-chair, Bieganski serves as the chair of the academic and personnel committee. Born in El Reno, Okla., Bieganski attended high school in Chadron before earning his degree in business administration and economics at Chadron State College.
Bieganski is president emeritus of the Community Hospital in McCook where he was responsible for strategic planning, facility development and administrative operations of the hospital. Bieganski was first appointed to the Board in 2006 to fill the unexpired term of Steve Lewis, formerly from Lexington. Bieganski was reappointed to a six-year term by Governor Heineman in 2011. He and his wife, Donna Jean, reside in Chadron and have two sons and five grandchildren.
Bieganski said, “I am pleased that I’ve had the opportunity to give back to the NSCS as a board member. Our three colleges provide tremendous educational opportunities for their students. I had talented mentors while an undergraduate student at Chadron, and it was what I learned from these faculty that enabled me to enjoy a successful career in hospital administration during the past 44 years.”
NSCS Chancellor Stan Carpenter said, “With Gary’s background in administration, education and health care, he has been a valuable member of the board, and I am happy to see him assume another leadership role. His understanding of Chadron, Peru and Wayne State and professional experience help ensure that the colleges continue to provide quality educational opportunities for students, on and off campus.”