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Cuesta: Headhunting the man from Weed

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Cuesta College may soon have a new president.

The Central Coast community college has offered the position to Dr. David Pelham, the current president of the College of the Siskiyous, according to Jill Ivie, the media relations coordinator for Cuesta.

Cuesta's board of trustees narrowed a list of candidates down to Pelham after conducting background checks and extensive interviews.

On Oct. 31, Cuesta's board of trustees made the trip north to Weed, Calif., to watch Pelham in action in his own environment. Ivie said the board was so impressed following the trip they decided to negotiate a contract for him.

In an interview, Pelham said that attending community college was an essential part of his own education. He said he wants to bring similar opportunities to others.

"First of all, I'm a community college graduate," Pelham said. "So when I speak about the importance of community college, it comes from a very deep and important place in me."

Pelham said he believes that community colleges fill a gap in the educational system, and without them a tremendous amount of students would not be able to succeed.

"I know San Luis Obispo has a wonderful university," he said. "But not every student that needs an education beyond high school is going to be successful at a university. But for them to be successful and enhance their standard of living, they do need education beyond high school--and that's where community college comes in."

If he accepts a contract, Pelham would fill the spot vacated by Marie Rosenwasser, who left in January in the wake of a failed bond measure for the school.

If Pelham accepts the position at Cuesta, he would take over presidential duties currently held by interim president Ed Maduli.

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