DVE-News/TV reporters meet Sussex County Community College president

Dr. Jon Connolly talks about the best and toughest parts of his job

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  • From left: Andrea Boronow, Dravin Nitecki, Gabriella Aitken, Nicholas Jorgenson, Dr. Jon Connolly, Josalyn Legato, Logan Olsommer, and Smit Patel (Photo by Peg Snure)

  • Back row (from left): Ryan Cusomato, John Kuntz, and Cory Homer. Front: Logan Olsommer, Nick Jorgenson, Andrea Boronow, Josalyn Legato, Gabriella Aitken, Dravin Nitecki, and Smit Patel (Photo by Peg Snure)

By DVE-News/TV Reporters

— We were invited to Sussex County Community College by Mr. Cory Homer to interview the college president, Dr. Jon Connolly. When we arrived, we were met by Mr. Todd Poltersdorf, director of admissions. We were then given a tour of the campus by Mr. Ryan Cusomato, admissions recruiter for SCCC. We met Mike Zayac in the television studio and when we returned, we were given a pizza lunch, which we enjoyed very much.

We then met with Dr. Jon Connolly and were granted an interview. Before becoming president of SCCC, Dr. Connolly was a biology professor in Maine, then moved to Texas, and after, Wyoming. He then became vice president of a college in Maine. Thirteen years ago he became president of SCCC.

When asked how much education it took to become president, he told us four years for his bachelor’s degree, two years for his master’s degree and five years for his Ph.D. It took 11 years of education to get where he is today.

He loves the campus family feeling. He feels that the campus family has the same values as he does, and that it feels like home. He said that it wasn’t always his ambition to be a president of a college, but in 2004 he wanted to make a bigger difference with his students. The best part of his job is helping the students in any way that he can. The toughest part of the job is when he can’t fix a problem for people and he can’t help.

Dr. Connolly’s most recent memorable experience was being at SCCC’s basketball game against Passaic County Community College and witnessing their exciting major win with a conversion shot from afar. He enjoys running when he is not at school, but has had a major calf injury for years now. He is working on getting his calf fixed.

When asked about how being a college president is similar to being an elementary school principal, he said that both need to love working with children and people. Both need to trust their employees to get their job done.

He also mentioned that community college bridges the gap between universities and high schools. Community college prepares students so they can be ready for university research and higher learning.

After our interview with Dr. Connolly, we met SCCC’s athletic director, John Kuntz. We had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. Mr. Kuntz started out as a high school physical education teacher for Sparta for seven years. He was also a basketball and baseball coach. He then became the athletic director for SCCC and has been for almost 30 years now! His favorite sport is basketball, and the athlete who inspired him the most is Derek Jeter. He honors and respects him.

We really enjoyed our day at Sussex County Community College. Thank you for inviting us, Cory Homer!

By DVE-News/TV Reporters (Delaware Valley Elementary School) Josalyn Legato, Draven Nitecki, Smit Patel, Andrea Boronow, Gabriella Aitken, Logan Olsommer, and Nicholas Jorgenson

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