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Earlier this summer, EdNC.org sat down with Janet Spriggs, who became president of Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem in January. We talked to Spriggs about what prepared her for the role, Triad industry partnerships, outreach to high schoolers, and the college’s strategic plan. 

“I think that my whole life has prepared me to be a community college president, although most of that time I probably did not realize that,” Spriggs said. “I grew up on a tobacco farm in North Carolina just across the Virginia border, and I’m a first generation college student.”

She said her experiences growing up allowed her to relate to barriers and risk factors of students. Plus, 14 years working in business and nearly 23 years serving in the community college space have given her a greater understanding of bringing education and business together. This understanding has led to a robust vision for Forsyth Tech’s future.

Vision 2025 is the college’s strategic plan, which the team internally calls “A Million Dreams.” Spriggs said the vision is that Forsyth Tech is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives, and transforming communities.

“We are in the early stages, more to come soon, but you can expect by October that you will see us having a strategic plan that really creates for us that ability to be a leader around economic and workforce development and economic mobility,” Spriggs said. 

Yasmin Bendaas

Yasmin Bendaas is a Science writer.  A North Carolina native, she received her master’s degree in Science & Medical Journalism at UNC Chapel Hill, where she was a Park Fellow. She received her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology in 2013 from Wake Forest University, where she double-minored in journalism and Middle East and South Asia studies. As an undergraduate student, Bendaas gained insight into public health when she interned at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, a statewide grantmaker focused on rural health, including access to primary care, diabetes, community-centered prevention, and mental health and substance abuse. 

As a journalist, Bendaas has been funded twice by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for fieldwork in Algeria — first to cover a disappearing indigenous tattoo tradition, and again to look at how climate change affects rural sheepherding practices.