Perkinson wins award

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, July 16, 2009

Former Suffolk School Board Member James Perkinson has been named the 2009 Administrator of the Year for Tidewater Community College.

“I was very honored that they would consider me,” Perkinson said of the honor.

Currently, Perkinson serves as the dean of business, public services and technologies at the TCC Chesapeake campus. However, in his more than 30 years of work with TCC, he has served in many different capacities.

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According to a TCC press release, Perkinson was “instrumental” in the growth of the Chesapeake Campus, and he served a “critical role” in the planning and development of the school’s Regional Automotive Center and coursework at the Tri-Cities Center.

Additionally, Perkinson developed opportunites at the college’s Workforce Development system and made numerous additions to the curriculum in his academic division.

“I’ve been around for years in a number of different positions,” Perkinson said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with of large, large number of different individuals here. I’ve been active in a number of different committees, which probably includes just about every one of them in one way or another.”

Perkinson said that part of his successes in his career came from his time serving on the Suffolk Public School Board. Perkinson was a member of the board representing the Sleepy Hole borough for 12 years before losing his seat to Diane Foster in 2008.

“A lot of my work at TCC was enhanced by the time I served on the school board,” Perkinson said. “I was able to bring a lot of stuff from Tidewater to the school system and bring stuff to Tidewater that I learned from the school system. That was something unique that I had that others did not.”

Right now, Perkinson is serving on the executive committee for the Virginia Community College System’s New Horizon conference, which is a technology-based conference that connects every employee of the VCCS system.

“It’s a chance for everybody got together and see what everybody is doing and renew some acquaintances and make some new ones,” Perkinson said.

Even with all of Perkinson’s work with the community college, he was still surprised to be nominated for the Administrator of the Year award.

A co-worker recommended him for the honor, and several more co-workers wrote letters in support of him winning.

“I never considered winning,” Perkinson said. “I just tried to go ahead and do what I’m supposed to be doing. I wasn’t sure of who else was nominated or anything. There are quite a number of people here”

TCC enrolls close to 40,000 students each year, and employs more than 1,000 faculty and staff members each year.

“It’s a nice recognition,” Perkinson said.