Valencia College Selects Four Finalists for President

At a special meeting held today, Valencia College trustees voted to confirm four finalists selected by the college’s Presidential Search Committee. The finalists were chosen from a pool of seven semi-finalists who were interviewed via teleconference and participated in virtual town hall events with faculty, staff and students in early November.

“I want to recognize the search committee members for their tremendous work, and also the members of the college community who took part in the town halls and provided their feedback,” said board chair Tracey Stockwell, who also chairs the search committee. “We look forward to finding our next president from this outstanding group of finalists.”

The candidates chosen to move forward in the process are:

Shah Ardalan has been president of Lone Star College, University Park campus, in Houston, Texas, since 2012. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina AT&T State University, and a doctoral degree in community college leadership from the John Roueche Graduate Center at National American University in Austin, Texas.

Lee Ann Nutt has been president of Lone Star College, Tomball campus, in Tomball, Texas, since 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree in education and a doctoral degree in higher education administration with a specialization in community college leadership from Texas Tech University.

Kathleen Plinske has been executive vice president and provost of Valencia College since 2018. She is also campus president of Valencia’s Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana campuses. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and physics from Indiana University, a master’s degree in Spanish from Roosevelt University in Chicago, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida and a doctoral degree in educational technology from Pepperdine University.

Anton R. Reece has been president and CEO of West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, Ky., since 2016. He earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and a master’s degree in counseling/student personnel services from Eastern Kentucky University. He also earned a doctoral degree in educational psychology and research with a concentration in collaborative learning from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Candidate interviews and town hall meetings with the finalists will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. More information is available at