Small towns, such as Paola, Kansas, can grow amazing things. Clark Harris, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, grew up in Paola, where he started out helping his dad with their vegetable garden. Soon after the garden became Harris’s where he sold the vegetables to markets and grocery stores. Harris is now a resident of Cheyenne, helping plant seeds for the future of Laramie County Community College.
“I always have been a gardener and always loved that side of being part of small suburban farms,” said Harris.
Before Harris moved to Cheyenne, he taught at a high school in Michigan as an Agriculture and Horticulture teacher for Future Farmers of America. While Harris was working full-time as a teacher he decided to open a landscape maintenance business to help his students that were unemployable, having a tough time getting a job or keeping a job.
“I was tired from working two full-time jobs, but it was worth it,” said Harris.
While Harris was an agriculture and horticulture teacher, the University of Missouri recruited him. He earned his doctorate there, and was then offered a couple of job opportunities at the University of Missouri, Oklahoma University and Kansas State University. He worked on all three campuses, and went back at Kansas State.
“I worked at Kansas State, as teacher educator, teaching students how to become high school agriculture teacher,” said Harris.
After Harris worked at Kansas state for a couple of years he decided that he wanted to go back to an administration community college. In Flint Michigan, a position became available, he became the Dean of technology.
“I worked in Flint, Michigan, the hometown of General Motors, for about nine years,” said Harris.
Harris moved to Cheyenne because he wanted to take the next step in his career.
“I wanted to become a vice president at a community college,” Harris said.
Harris moved to Cheyenne because of the job opportunity at LCCC, his love for the west and he wanted to be closer to family that lives in Kansas.
Harris plans on staying here at LCCC helping students pick careers and making the college a better place.
“I don’t plan on moving, but I had a friend that said always keep your options open, but I am sure not looking,” said Harris.