April 19, 2002

Wendell Cutting chosen for governing board seat

EL CAJON – Wendell Cutting, chief of staff to Congressman Duncan Hunter and a longtime volunteer in many community organizations, as well as in international relief efforts, was appointed Tuesday night by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board to fill the vacancy created by the election of former Trustee Gary Kendrick to the El Cajon City Council.

The El Cajon resident was chosen after 13 of 14 applicants gave presentations to the trustees at a special meeting prior to the start of their regularly scheduled monthly board meeting.

Following the presentations, the trustees nominated the following: Cutting; Shirley Murphy of El Cajon, a consultant and director of D-Q University at Sycuan; Carl Silva, of Jamul, a client services director at Hamer Enterprises, Inc. and Valerie Harrison of La Mesa, president/director of marketing and human resources at Dataport Computer Systems.

After the four were asked additional questions by the board, a motion was made to nominate Cutting, followed by a vote appointing him to the post. Cutting was then sworn in and seated.

Governing Board President Rick Alexander said the board selected Cutting from a highly qualified group of applicants because of his strong ties to the region and familiarity with education issues.

Chancellor Omero Suarez said Cutting’s experience on other boards and his commitment to resolving district issues make him a valued addition to the governing board.

“I am very pleased that Wen-dell Cutting has been appointed to our board,” Suarez said. “He is a seasoned individual with rich experiences as a community volunteer. His negotiation and leadership skills developed from years of service on numerous boards, as well as his keen awareness of community college issues, will serve the district well.”

Cutting, who overcame liver cancer in 1995, said Tuesday night that his seeking the district trusteeship was one way of giving back to an East County community that had shown such support during a very trying period in his life.

Cutting, district chief of staff to Congressman Hunter since 1991, and El Cajon’s 2000 Citizen of the Year, taught for eight years as a middle school instructor and administrator during the 1970s. In 1970, at age 23, he was elected to the San Jacinto City Council and two years later, he took over the council’s helm, becoming the youngest mayor in the nation. Throughout the ‘80s, he was a business executive with Al Hoty Establishment, a multi-national corporation based in Saudi Arabia.

His introduction to the community college system came at an early age. His mother taught for 26 years and upon retirement, served for almost 20 years on the governing board of the Mt. San Jacinto Community College District. As a high school student, Cutting volunteered in the drive to form the community college district. He and his twin brother, Larry, went on to create an annual nursing scholarship for Mt. San Jacinto College students.

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