As spring quarter started on Monday at Treasure Valley Community College, I could not help but reflect on where we were a year ago. Last spring, we transitioned to a fully online class format (with less than two weeks’ notice) and began implementing work-from-home practices and virtual meetings.

This year, we are back on campus and although we are still social distancing and wearing masks, our students, staff and faculty have embraced a rhythm and flow of personal and social responsibility. This adherence to best practices has helped us keep in-person classes all year. We have hosted vaccine clinics on campus and are hopeful by next year, we will look back on this as a time of challenge and growth – and one that no longer requires us to be as isolated or distanced.

In stark contrast to last year’s classroom closures, we opened our new Career & Technical Education Center for classes this week. There are still a few last-minute things to complete, but overall it’s been a fantastic addition. Faculty have moved into their new offices and classrooms and students are already enjoying the fabulous new space. We are busy planning a community open house and grand-opening event for later this spring to celebrate this new building and to thank the community for your support. Stay tuned for updates as planning is completed.

We are also excited to see athletics rolling out this quarter and look forward to restrictions being lifted as local health guidelines continue to improve. We’ve all missed these activities so much.

One of the events we especially missed last year was seeing our very own Wade Black in the 2020 Road to the Horse competition. Wade teaches equine science, horsemanship and horse training classes at TVCC. You may recall he won the 2019 Wildcard competition at the Road to the Horse and was poised to compete for the championship last year before the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

We were thrilled this weekend to see Wade Black not only return to Road to the Horse competition held March 25–28 in Fort Worth, Texas, but he also claimed the prestigious colt-starting championship in grand fashion. In addition to claiming the world championship title, Wade also earned the $75,000 winner’s check.

This prestigious win showcases the world-class caliber of equine instruction and training we offer at TVCC.

The Road to the Horse is an annual event designed to entertain and educate fans in the art of natural horsemanship. Contestants have three days to start an untrained 3-year-old gelding bred and raised by the Four Sixes Ranch of Guthrie, Texas. The first two days each include an hour and 45 minutes of roundpen work. The final day includes 20 minutes of roundpen work, and then 35 minutes to complete rail work and an obstacle course.

Videos and more information are posted on TVCC’s Facebook page as well as the Road to the Horse site at roadtothehorse.com

I am excited to see Wade and TVCC’s equine science program earn national attention to attract students from all over the country to take these classes.

Spring is always a time for renewal and fresh starts. At TVCC it especially feels like springtime and we are excited about what’s to come for our students and our College.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter with your family and take time to enjoy the sunshine.

Dana Young is president of Treasure Valley Community College. The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of The Argus Observer.

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