By Kris McBride
THATCHER, Ariz. — Graham County School Superintendent Donna McGaughey has appointed Jeff B. Larson, an accomplished business leader and experienced board member in the public and nonprofit sectors, to the Graham County Community College District Governing Board. Larson succeeds Lance Layton who vacated the District No. 3 board seat in February. This appointment extends through Dec. 31, 2018; the remaining two years of Layton’s vacated term will be filled by the successful candidate in the November 2018 election.
“Jeff is committed to EAC’s vision,” said Mark Bryce, president of Eastern Arizona College. “His interactions with others are fair and marked by integrity. He has a collaborative approach and will bring together varying ideas and diverse opinions for our students, faculty, staff and community.”
Larson is a lifelong resident of the Gila Valley and is passionate about Eastern Arizona College (EAC). After graduating from Safford High School in 1974, he attended EAC and majored in business. For the past 38 years, he has successfully owned and operated Larson Farms. He and his wife, the former Mellani Palmer Larson, are the parents of five children, all of whom have attended EAC and transferred to universities to receive bachelor’s degrees. Larson has served on state-level boards for the Arizona Farm Bureau and the Arizona Cotton Growers Association. He currently serves as president for the Graham County Utilities Board and is a director for the Grand Canyon State Electrical Cooperative Association. Larson is also a member of EAC Boosters and has served as an officer with that association.
“I am honored to serve in this role and will work diligently to ensure that all students are given the same opportunity for a quality education,” said Larson. “As a board, it is vital to continue providing affordable educational opportunities that ensure a return on investment. As technology continues to grow, we must leverage innovation and technology to help students better compete in workplace settings. We must continue attracting a high concentration of talented teachers who care about their students and want to share new ideas and approaches.”
Larson was formally sworn in at the Graham County Community College District Board meeting held on April 16, 2018, at 5 p.m., at the EAC Student Services Building, 615 N. Stadium Avenue in Thatcher.