ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud Technical and Community College President-Elect Annesa Cheek made her way to campus Thursday morning to introduce herself to students, staff and the community.

Cheek was selected as the next SCTCC President Wednesday by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees.

For the time being, Cheek says she's looking forward to learning more about the college and her new community.

"The biggest thing that I'm looking forward to doing is really listening and learning. [There are] lots of important community stakeholders both informal and formal leaders throughout the community and inside the college. I really need to get out there and talk to them. I want to hear from all of those multiple and diverse perspectives, what they cherish and love about this institution and their ideas on where the some of the opportunities are, that's really my first priority to get out there and do lots of listening and learning."

Cheek says as she gets started she wants everyone to "gather around the table" to share their opinions and experiences.

"I use the analogy of a table. If you think about inviting people into your home, all of the seats crowded around the table when you look around the room, it's great when people are gathered around the table and breaking bread and having great discussion and conversation."

But Cheek says she can't only focus on the people who are already at the table but also the ones who aren't at the table.

"I'm also interested in who is not at the table, who is sitting on the sidelines, who is not included, who is not apart of the conversation and who is not being considered and making room for all voices, all perspectives around the table. I think that's the way we will be able to continue to move the community and the institution forward is by making room for more at the table. To help more students advance and earn credentials so that they can live a better quality of life."

Cheek will officially take over as the fifth SCTCC President this July. Previously, she has held several positions at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. Most recently, she has been serving as executive vice president.

Cheek will take over for Lori Kloos. Kloos has been the interim SCTCC President since former President Joyce Helens resigned last July. Kloos will go back to her previous permanent position as Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer.

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