New trustee Nancy Ingram

September 12, 2015

Education has been her priority, from Emporia State to Olathe to (now) JCCC

If education was a play, Nancy Ingram could make a case that she’s played all the parts.

The newest member of the Johnson County Community College board of trustees has been a student, a professor, a school secretary, a parent, a classroom volunteer and a life-long learner.

She’s also been a bleacher booster for countless Olathe South High School girls’ basketball games. Her husband has been the coach there for last 26 years, and even with their own kids long out of high school, Ingram shows up in the stands.

“I joke with people that I still have a ‘student’ in high school,” she said.

For Ingram, getting involved in the board of trustees seemed like the right thing to do – a way to give back to her community.

From classroom to boardroom

Ingram was elected to the board in April 2015, along with incumbents David Lindstrom and Greg Musil.

Ingram, a graduate of Kansas State University, said she values her years in college. “College was a really good experience for me,” she said. “There’s something about a campus. You can just feel the energy.”

She leveraged her degree in nutrition and home economics to teach at Emporia State University. As a lecturer, she taught Foods I and II, meal management and nutrition.

“I think it was one of the greatest positions I ever held,” Ingram said. “It was fun, and the students made it fun. ”

When they moved to Olathe, Ingram worked for a year as a school secretary. Then she connected to the classroom as a parent volunteer in the elementary, middle and high schools her three children attended.

“As a young mom, you want to do everything you can, you want to be involved in everything, and you want to help out however you can,” she said. So when she was asked to serve as a founding board member of the Olathe Public Schools Foundation, she agreed. When the foundation needed a new director, she took over.

She balanced this job with another part-time job and the demands of family. “When it’s your passion, you’ve got all the time in the world,” Ingram said.

When the foundation director position became full time, Ingram bowed out but remained active within the district.

Her experiences with JCCC

When her children were in high school, they took College Now classes offered by JCCC. That experience, and a Continuing Education finance class she took with her mother, left Ingram with positive feelings about the college.

One son attended JCCC after high school, “and he would tell you it’s the best thing he ever did…He didn’t really know what he wanted to do, and coming to JCCC gave him a really good start.”

Ingram said she’s enjoyed her time on the JCCC campus. She dropped by during Cav Craze Day in May, hoping just to blend into the crowd. Her notoriety as “the next trustee” left her little chance to go incognito, however.

“I think I’d be described as a rather unassuming person,” Ingram said. “I wasn’t used to ‘trustee’ Ingram (introductions). I’m just here to be a part of it.”

Looking ahead, Ingram said she considers as a top priority online education and the balance between distance learning and face-to-face offerings. She also looks to technology to further shape higher education and workforce development.

“I’m really here to continue what we have,” she said. “We’re still going to have those challenges of funding. I see a solid institution, and I’m looking forward to providing support as it moves forward.”