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LEMOORE — Growing up in a low-income family, his mother supported his efforts to go to college any way that she could.

Now Elmer Aguilar sets out to support all students to succeed at West Hills College Lemoore while keeping in mind the support he had as a student.

West Hills College Lemoore announced the hiring of Aguilar as its new Dean of Student Services along with two new coaches.

Aguilar said that in his role at West Hills his goal is to help all students especially those from low-income backgrounds since he can relate.

As a young boy, Aguilar said he remembers taking the bus with his mother to her job as a seamstress in a sweatshop in LA before going to school.

He said she made it a point that he and his siblings understood how much of an equalizer college could be.

“She would say it’s not going to make you rich, but it will give you more opportunity,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar said he is excited to be at West Hills to continue to help students succeed. He has also worked at other colleges in the Valley and Southern California in roles that help students.

As he prepares for the fall semester, Aguilar continues to observe and learn how the Lemoore campus works and what ways it can improve.

“The end goal for me is to remove barriers for students to achieve success,” Aguilar said. “Whether it is through transferring to a four-year or completing their degree, I want students to reach their goals.”

West Hills College Lemoore also hired a new men’s basketball coach Donnye Ross and women’s volleyball Coach Kelly Wigton.

Ross comes from Imperial Valley College where he was an instructor, assistant athletic director and head women’s basketball coach.

Wigton has experience coaching and playing. She has played volleyball since she was 11 and played for California State University, Humboldt, Vanguard University and Santa Rosa Junior College. She previously worked as a Beachbody coach and high school volleyball coach.

Prior to this year, West Hills College Lemoore has not had a women’s volleyball or men’s basketball team.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2458 or

News Reporter

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