Members of the Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees are very active in the college's life, providing leadership in the institution's policymaking and ensuring the institution is responsive to the district's taxpayers. Two trustees, Jim Beasley of Centralia and Laura Wedekemper of Shattuc, take that leadership responsibility to the state level and represent KC through the Illinois Community College Trustees Association. The ICCTA is a statewide organization that serves as the chief lobbying group for community colleges in Springfield and provides networking and educational resources for individual college trustees.
Wedekemper currently serves as chair for the organization's Southwest Region and its statewide Awards Committee while also serving as a member of the Executive Committee. She enjoys collaborating with other trustees noting they all share the same vision: the success of Illinois community colleges.
"New trustees and experienced trustees have questions or need information regarding rules, roles, and responsibilities that go beyond reading from a publication or website," said Wedekemper. "The ICCTA is a resource for Illinois Community College Trustees that provides continuing education and leadership training, legislative advocacy, and collaboration with other Trustees throughout the state," Wedekemper added that an effective trustee is a well-informed trustee. Her role with the ICCTA has kept her informed on how legislative issues could affect KC and helped her develop into a better trustee for the citizens of KC District 501.
During his time at KC, Beasley has served on every ICCTA committee, twice chairing the Awards and Education Committee. He also served as treasurer of ICCTA. In 2008, he was recognized for his service on behalf of the ICCTA with its Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award. In 2019, he became just the fifth trustee presented with the Linden A. Warfel Trustee Education Award in recognition for completing more than one hundred ICCTA continuing education seminars.
"I have been active with the ICCTA for the same reasons I serve as a trustee at KC, to ensure that we are providing a quality education that is accessible and affordable to everyone," noted Beasley.
ICCTA Executive Director Jim Reed appreciates the leadership both Beasley and Wedekemper have brought to the association. "Trustee leadership is essential to the success of any community college. Likewise, at the Illinois Community College Trustees Association, we rely on our leaders to guide the organization. For more than 35 years, Trustees Jim Beasley and Laura Wedekemper have helped shape the Trustees Association into a strong advocacy and educational institution for trustees from all over Illinois. We are grateful that Kaskaskia Community College has been willing to let them share their talents with us."
KC President George Evans also feels the experience Beasley and Wedekemper have gained through their work with the ICCTA has benefited the college. “Having a board that works so well together is a rarity in today’s political climate. To have a board that works together and represents the College at the state level is even rarer. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated Board of Trustees.”