LEMOORE — West Hills Community College District’s Chancellor Dr. Frank Gornick will retire at the end of the 2016-17 school year after 23 years of service.

Gornick has served as the district’s chief executive officer since 1994. He was hired as the superintendent-president and transferred to chancellor when WHCCD became a multi-college district in 2001.

“I’ve been excited to come to work every morning for nearly 23 years,” Gornick said in a press release. “I am planning to sprint to the finish. It’s not often that one is provided an opportunity to have a dream job.”

The Board of Trustees will launch a national search for his replacement for the district which covers campuses in Lemoore, Coalinga, Firebaugh, North District Center and its affiliated sites.

“We know these are big shoes to fill and we are actively seeking a new chancellor who will maintain our momentum and build on our legacy while maintaining our strong fiscal condition,” said Board Chairman Mark McKean. “Under his visionary leadership, our district has become a significant contributor to the growth and development of the community college system in California.” McKean was on the Board when Gornick was hired two decades ago.

Jeff Levinson, another longtime board member, recalls that in 1994 the district was struggling due to declining enrollment.

“Dr. Gornick brought us a vision and under his tutelage we transitioned to a multi-college district that has created opportunities for thousands of students,” Levinson said. “We were looking for someone to lead us forward and his leadership enabled us to grow our facilities to meet the demand. He’s had a huge impact on our communities and on student success.”

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