Kristal Smallwood has been working in education in Gulf County since she first moved here 15 years ago.
But now, having recently been appointed the Gulf/Franklin Campus of Gulf Coast State College’s director, she said is looking forward to bringing her expertise in education and deep knowledge of the area to the school and the new position.
“I’m excited,” she said. “I’m invested in this community. I’ve been here for 15 years. I have children that are growing up here.”
“And so the fact that I get to do this for people that I’m friends with, for family, for a community that I’m a part of is exciting to me.”
Smallwood said she is most looking forward to being able to get out into the community to assess needs.
She has already been hearing quite a buzz about the school’s nursing and drone operation programs, she said. One of her goals, she said, was to continue to grow the Gulf/Franklin campus to offer more programs that engage the community.
“I’m really excited to see this campus grow, so we’ll be able to offer more classes here so that students in Gulf and Franklin Counties don’t have to drive all the way to Panama City for classes or other things they need,” said Smallwood.
“That’s one of my goals while I’m here is to get some more great quality educators onto our campus and to offer more classes.”
Smallwood also said she is looking into what it would take to get the school’s Encore program back up and running.
The program featured interesting courses available for members of the greater community to take.
“It might be a photography class, or a class on how to write your life story,” Smallwood said. “Computer classes were big.”
“I keep hearing from the community things like ‘it would be great if there was a Photoshop class out there.’ So getting Encore running again would definitely be one of my goals.”
Further community outreach will be important to ensuring that her overall goal to help grow Gulf/Franklin and the school’s presence in the community is met.
“I want the atmosphere on campus to feel like a community,” she said. “I want the students to know that this is their school and have pride in that.”
Gulf Coast State College will be holding their Super Saturday event on August 6.
The event, which will feature food, fun, important information and waived enrollment fees, will be held on the Gulf/Franklin campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT.
Smallwood can be reached at 850.227.9670 ext.5503 or [email protected].