West Hills College District names long-time educator at WHC Lemoore as its next president

From West Hills College Lemoore
James Preston
James Preston

Pending approval from the West Hills Community College District (WHCCD) Board of Trustees, the District announced this week that James Preston has been selected to lead West Hills College Lemoore as the College’s fourth president.

Preston, who has served as Lemoore’s interim president, was picked following a nationwide search led by Dr. Will Lewallen of Community College Search Services. Preston officially begins his job on January 1, 2022.

Preston succeeds Dr. Kristin Clark, who earlier in 2021, was promoted to the district’s chancellor’s position.

"On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all of us in the West Hills District, we are thrilled to welcome James Preston as the next President at West Hills College Lemoore,” said Clark.

"His proven track record, commitment to the diverse communities we serve, and his passion for education will ensure the College’s continued success and recognition for its relentless pursuit of student success. I look forward to working with him as we enter the next chapter of the West Hills’ success story.” 

Preston has over 27 years of experience in education. He has served West Hills College Lemoore since 2000 and held the positions of Education/English Teacher, Academic Senate President, Dean of Educational Services, Vice President of Educational Services, and most recently the Interim President. 

One of his notable accomplishments is the creation of the T.E.A.M. Teach program for future teachers and the 5C Experience summer program for middle school students, which was the original Teacher Pipeline Programs (TPP) utilized by the Chancellor’s Office in developing a state-wide TPP model.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and humbled to be selected as the next president for West Hills College Lemoore. We have an awesome team of employees at our college who truly care about our students and are focused on their success,” he said.

“I hope to build on many of the strong initiatives that we have at our college including our transfer degrees, short-term career, and technical certificates, and a growing number of Zero-Cost-Textbook degrees. We are excited to continue to provide a high-quality, low-cost education for the south valley and now more than ever are ready to serve, support, and engage our community through our new HOPE initiative in 2022,” he continued.

Preston holds a master’s degree in education from Fresno Pacific University and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He and his wife Jennifer enjoy spending time with their three adult children and new son-in-law. The entire family enjoys sports and hiking. 

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