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Background, family

Richard Percifield is a 49-year-old engineer, currently employed at the Whirlpool Corporation Amana Refrigeration Products. He and his wife have a daughter who is married and living in Washington, Ill. (no grandchildren yet). He sings in choirs, in church, Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale, and Chamber Singers of Iowa City. He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and has worked on various committees within that organization.

Role of school board, future of Kirkwood

Percifield said, “When my daughter went to college, I advised her that ‘you will always be able to afford to do what you love, and no amount of money can pay the costs to do what you hate.’ Working as a paramedic for many years was rewarding far beyond the meager pay. I loved what I did, and somehow I could afford it. A career ending injury forced me to change paths to engineering. I still help people whenever possible, just not in the back of an ambulance. It is this desire to help that has led me to run for the Kirkwood Community College Board of Trustees.

“I attended a community college to gain my paramedic license in Kansas. That college was instrumental in my development, as well as many others directly showing me the value of a community college. In the Benton school district the impact of Kirkwood is displayed most by the number of students getting their first exposure to the college experience by attending classes both on and off campus. The value of Kirkwood to the adult students is reinforced by friends and coworkers working to further their careers. None of these efforts would be available without the community support of the college and the college’s focus of fulfilling the needs of the community. I hope to try to enhance and grow the great things that Kirkwood is already doing.

“Rarely a week goes by that you do not hear something about Kirkwood. It could be the new Healthcare Simulation Center (It would have been nice to have this when I was in training!), the Hotel on campus (opening in 2010), even the Truck Driver Training program trailer you see on the highway, and many more too numerous to mention. This shows that Kirkwood is a vibrant institution of learning that is the envy of many. The real question is where next, how do we improve what is already a great place to learn?

“Kirkwood like many institutions both public and private are experiencing budget shortfalls in the coming months and years. The administration and the board are hoping to save $ 1.25 million by the end of this fall semester. Further budget tightening due to a reduction in state contributions and one time federal stimulus monies will make for a challenging next few months. This tightening is where the board is critical in assisting the administration. As representatives of the community Trustees provide the guidance as to what services and programs our constituents feel are critical, focusing resources to these critical needs. We are there to support the administration in these difficult times to minimize the impact on the community. I believe that all resources, monetary, human, and physical should be utilized with emphasis on effectiveness and community needs. My varied background and different perspective will allow me to help look for, and recommend solutions that are “outside the box”.

“Professionally, I have worked on committees and participated in projects with budgets and systems as complex as Kirkwood. I am dedicated to helping the community, students, staff, and administration get the best value from the resources available. Kirkwood offers great returns from the investments, in tuition, grants, tax dollars, and gifts. My aspiration is to assist in maintaining great work of this institution during these challenging times and help it grow in value in the future.”

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UPDATED August 26, 2009 10:51 AM

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