More than a decade ago, Governor Christine Gregoire asked Bridget Piper to serve as a member of the CCS Board of Trustees. At that point, she already had served as a volunteer member of the board of the CCS Foundation for two terms, including time as the Foundation’s president. She gave an enthusiastic yes and has volunteered her time as a leader for CCS in the two roles for nearly two decades. Her final board meeting was in October and a new trustee will begin serving in November.
“I believe deeply in the mission of the community colleges,” Piper said in a recent interview. “What really connects with my heart is the way in which community colleges are able to help people who are seeking a step up in their lives or in their careers.”
During Trustee Piper’s time on the board, she served as chair twice and also served as president of the SBCTC Association of College Trustees (ACT) made up of community and technical college trustees across the state. She said her statewide role gave her the opportunity to learn about best practices at other colleges and to take part as a liaison with the presidents of all colleges. Often, she said, what she saw across the state made her especially proud of the leadership and progressive work already underway in Spokane. She notes this experience as one of the high points during her service. Both in Spokane and across the state system, she said she has supported the emphasis on addressing fair and equitable access to education and to removing barriers to successful outcomes among all students.
Another area where Trustee Piper’s service stood out was her role with Head Start, where she spent many years as the Trustee representative on the Parent Policy Council. In that role, she said she was able to work alongside young parents who were learning new skills both as parents and as leaders.
“Seeing these young men and women grow with their skills and confidence in these meetings is just a testament to the importance of the parent leadership in Head Start,” Piper said. “It has been one of my favorite parts of my role at the community colleges.”
Piper said she would continue to champion the community colleges even in her retirement from the board of trustees. She praised all the people she worked with, especially the leadership of Chancellor Christine Johnson, and looks forward to watching continued progress on access, equity and service to the community.
“It has truly been my honor,” Piper said. “I am so proud of everyone I have worked with at the community colleges and their accomplishments, always with student success in mind.”