Good Luck

October 17th, 2019

travis combsROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


Travis Combs served as Seward County Community College’s Dean of Industrial Technology and Continuing Education and a member of the USD 480 Board of Education for several years.

He will continue serving in those capacities through mid-November before moving to Washington D.C. to take a job there. That job will be with Office of Career Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.

This morning, Combs posted on his Facebook page about his resignation, saying Liberal has never just been a place with a job for him, but a large part of who he is and a great source of pride.

“Liberal is home and will always be home,” he said. “That’s why it’s so difficult to share some big personal news.”

After seven years back in the community and serving on multiple volunteer boards and in various roles at SCCC and as a member of the USD 480 school board, and a total of 23 years in Liberal, Combs will be leaving once more.

“I can promise you this decision did not come lightly,” he said. “I am leaving a position I absolutely love. I work with an incredibly supportive, innovative and high-functioning team of educators, school board members and volunteers. I am inspired daily by individuals from these teams, their unparalleled talents, constant drive for excellence and willingness to inject quite a bit of humor and fun along the way.”

Combs said he is deeply devoted by the community, parents, teachers and volunteers.

“Our community’s personal stories inspire me and touch my heart every single day,” he said. “Working on behalf of SCCC, USD 480 and the various boards I’ve served on, this community has been one of my life’s greatest honors.”

Combs said he fell in love with SCCC immediately, with its mission, the people the school serves and the people who “make it happen.”

“My love of our work and impassioned pursuit of greatness for education and community advancement has never wavered,” he said. “Rather, it has grown as we have pushed the envelope on what is possible. We’ve advanced from just an education provider to a high-quality creator of opportunity and a developer of people. We’ve evolved from a believer in education to a champion for education and its power through groundbreaking student research opportunities and innovative industry partnerships and its ability to lift individuals out of poverty and into family sustaining employment. We’ve grown and will continue to grow as long as the right people remain engaged and continue working together towards common goals.”

Combs added all of these accomplishments are not about him.

“They’re about the community and the people who’ve helped along the way,” he said. “The  community has trusted, supported and partnered with the various organizations I’ve been a part of as we’ve taken bold leaps and achieved some audacious goals.”

Those goals, Combs said, include a successful National Science Foundation grant taking programs international, capital campaigns for state of the art learning and training, school redesign projects serving the whole child, school bond projects to increase safety and improve the teaching and learning spaces for all, record breaking United Way campaigns to support more than 20 non-profit agencies and much more.

“The community is headed in the right direction, and I am excited to see what is ahead,” he said. “I have no doubt there will be continued greatness.”

Combs said he may be moving across the country, but he will remain steadfast in his support of SCCC, USD 480, the Seward County United Way and other boards as a donor and volunteer whenever possible.

“I will continue to work to positively impact public education, adult education and community colleges not only in the Liberal community, but now across the country,” he said.

Combs will remain with SCCC and USD 480 through mid-November, working with staff, administration and boards to position the organizations for new leadership and a smooth transition.

“With our fantastic team in place, I have no doubt that SCCC will not miss a beat,” he said. “Administration will be launching a search for a new dean of industrial technology and continuing education. If you need anything in the interim, reach out to anyone at SCCC. They’ll direct you to the right person who can assist you.

“Thank you for your belief in me, the work we’ve accomplished and the teams I’ve worked with as we committed to fighting the good fight and making our community a better place, a place we all know and love, a place that was never just a job for me and which I will always consider home,” he continued. “Not everything we’ve done and done perfectly, and that’s’s a part of growing and learning. I look forward to seeing the continued work of this amazing community, its leaders and organizations and can’t wait to see what the future holds for Liberal.”

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