A new president has been named for Ozarks Technical Community College’s education centers in Lebanon, Republic, Waynesville and Fort Leonard Wood.
On Jan. 7, Dustin Childress stepped into that role.
“Dr. Childress has been a driving force at our Lebanon Center, and I know he will bring that same energy to this new role,” said OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon, in a news release. “His breadth of experience, from teaching to student affairs, gives him a unique perspective on how to serve students — especially those from smaller communities.”
Childress, a graduate of Southwest Baptist University, began teaching life sciences at OTC in 2007 following a two-year career as a pitcher in the New York Mets minor league organization.
Childress earned a master’s degree in biology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a doctorate in higher education administration from Northcentral University.
In 2013, he began to oversee the operations at the OTC Lebanon Center, including personnel management, budget administration and community engagement.
Three years ago, Childress was named dean of education centers, where he worked with center directors to provide leadership and forge relationships within the local communities.
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The OTC Republic Center opened in August 2020. At that time, Childress began to manage all four locations, prompting his promotion to president. He continues to teach in the life sciences department.
Childress has a long history of serving the Lebanon community. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Lebanon and served on the Rotary Board, for which he was honored as the 2016 Rotarian of the Year. He has also served on the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce Board, including a term as Chamber Board President in 2017. He has served on the Board for the Lebanon Area Foundation and the Lebanon Parks and Recreation Board.
A Lebanon resident, Childress is married with three children. His father, Layton Childress, was a longtime OTC employee who finished his career as the college’s dean of technical education.