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Dolores BrooksPhoto provided by OTC
Dolores Brooks

Photo provided by OTC

Founding OTC board member dies

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Dolores Brooks, a former educator and public school administrator and a founding member of the Ozarks Technical Community College Board of Trustees, died Oct. 12. She was 85.

Brooks, who was named a trustee emeritus when she retired from the board in 2010, served as the board's first president 1990-92 and held the position again 2002-03, according to an Oct. 13 news release from OTC.

“Mrs. Brooks was instrumental in the founding of Ozarks Technical Community College and a vital supporter throughout her 20-plus years on the board,” OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon said in the release. “We are saddened by her passing, and we are grateful for the many years of dedication she gave to the education community in Springfield.”

In 2006, Brooks served as co-chairwoman of the school's presidential search committee, which selected Higdon from his post as vice president for administration at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

In that same year, Brooks was named among SBJ's class of Most Influential Women.

Much of Brooks' career was spent as an administrator for Springfield Public Schools. She became the first female high school principal in Springfield when she took the reins at Parkview High in 1983.

“I have always tried to serve as a role model for girls and women by demonstrating strength and compassion," Brooks said in her MIW profile, published in September 2006.

Brooks also served as principal at Jarrett Middle School and assistant principal at Kickapoo and Central high schools. She was involved in the Springfield Education Association and the Missouri State Teachers Association. She previously was president of the Southwest Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals.

According to SBJ archives, Brooks was an active community volunteer with such organizations as the United Way of the Ozarks, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army and the Dogwood Trail Girl Scout Council.

“It was an honor to work with Mrs. Brooks on the OTC Board of Trustees,” said Jackie McKinsey, the only founding trustee still serving on the board, in the release.  “She was truly committed to the best interests of the students, and I am glad to have known her as both a colleague and a friend.”

Founding member Don Clinkenbeard stepped down from the board Oct. 11 due to health concerns.
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