Amarillo College students and staff, there is a new dean on campus, Toni Gray was appointed Dean of Continuing Education August 1st, by Dr. Deborah Vess, after former Dean, Kim Davis, decided it was time to retire. Gray had been working with Amarillo College for a little over 18 years, she had started visiting the city of Amarillo with her husband since 1989, he had originally been born and raised in Amarillo, but Gray had been raised in the Dallas, Fort Worth area, said she had fallen in love with the small town feel of Amarillo, and finally moved from the busy streets of Dallas, to the small town streets of Amarillo in 1997. When Gray started at Amarillo College on July 2nd 1997, she worked in the Criminal Justice department with training of correctional officers, she worked her way up and became director in 2004. Toni had led a very successful program in Criminal Justice, under her leadership, they trained about 90% of the areas law enforcement professionals, she’s really the best person for the job, said vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Deborah Vess. “After working in the Criminal Justice department, I think Toni saw the opportunity to provide new leadership and new ideas to the Continuing Education division , and she jumped at the chance,” said the new director of criminal justice, Eric Wallace, via email.In Amarillo the continuing education program is the major provider in the Panhandle, it is the 2nd largest in the state of Texas, serving over 29,000 students a year. The Continuing Education program at the downtown campus is customized workforce, specializing in workforce development, open enrollment workforce, offers equipment workforce will need, the program oversees all of the continuing education college wide, they are responsible for granting needs and wishes, setting up and marketing the efforts it had taken to achieve the needs of that workforce or business. The Criminal Justice department is a huge presence in continuing education, along with healthcare, and is over the enrichment programs (funding programs).Vess said, Gray had many years of experience in Con Ed, she was very familiar with the structure, the personnel, the programs, there was a search to see who was the most qualified and
appropriate person for the job, and because of her history with AC’s departments and programs, Toni emerged the “clear cut front runner.” Although Gray is Dean of Continuing Education now, she still has Criminal Justice under her belt, alongside the Carter Fitness Center. Gray said, she really wants the students to benefit greatly from the Carter Fitness Center, especially now that are able to attend the center as a part of their academic enrollment in the college. “The main goal within the downtown campus would be to get the structure efficient, we are doing some practices and processes that could be made more efficient to help everyone at the downtown campus and then including college wide, for setups and registrations,” said Gray, “The main goal [for me] is to reach out to the rest of the Con Ed world and assist them and communicate with them so that we are all on the same page and growing and growing healthy in ways that meet the needs of our workforce and our community needs, I just truly hope to touch and benefit many of the lives of the students I encounter, with my new role as dean.” Toni is definitely action-oriented, and AC is lucky to have her, said Wallace.