Colenda begins fourth term on Cecil College Board

Published on August 4, 2023

From left are: Mary Way Bolt, Cecil College President; Sarah W. Colenda, Cecil College Board Member; Charlene Notarcola, Circuit Court Clerk for Cecil County; and Dr Ozden Coksaygan, Cecil College’s Newest Board Member.

From left are: Mary Way Bolt, Cecil College President; Sarah W. Colenda, Cecil College Board Member; Charlene Notarcola, Circuit Court Clerk for Cecil County; and Dr Ozden Coksaygan, Cecil College’s Newest Board Member.

NORTH EAST, Md. – Cecil College has served the residents of Cecil County for half a century with the steady guidance and support of its board of trustees. Being a member of the College’s board isn’t just about putting a title on a resume. It is about believing and living the possibilities Cecil College offers for creating a stronger and more prosperous community.

Sarah W. Colenda has embodied Cecil College’s mission of transforming lives through education for more than 18 years. A lifelong resident of Cecil County, she has been a member of the board of trustees since 2005, serving as Chair for six years. She officially began her fourth term on the board last week after being sworn in by Circuit Court Clerk for Cecil County Charlene Notarcola.

“The pride I have for serving Cecil College and Cecil County is incredible. I have watched this College transform over its 55-year history. I love working for the College, and I can work for the county that I love every day,” said Colenda.

Cecil College was founded the year Colenda graduated from high school. Her family ties to the College are strong, as her husband, Allen, taught HVAC and electronics at then Cecil Community College for eight years following his service in the military. Her eldest daughter Gina later graduated from Cecil, while her youngest daughter Rebecca took classes at Cecil College before earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware on a volleyball scholarship. Her son, John, also attended Cecil College before completing his bachelor’s degree from Millersville University.

As a Cecil College board member, Colenda has supported the growth of the Cecil College Foundation and its scholarship power for students in need. Working closely with the college administration, Colenda and her fellow board members shared this important initiative with their community, political, and business partners to establish and grow the College’s endowment.

The Foundation provides financial assistance for non-credit students in addition to those seeking an associate degree. Specifically, Cecil College offers a CDL truck driver training program, skilled trades training in welding, HVAC, and automotive repair, as well as several certifications in healthcare. Scholarships cover the cost of tuition and classroom materials such as books. These programs are organized to help displaced workers and individuals seeking a different line of work.

“Without exception, everybody I have worked with on the board has been passionate about the College. They are bright, they know the business world, they ask the right questions, and we have always worked as a team,” said Colenda.

Along with helping to grow the Foundation, Colenda has been instrumental in helping to enhance the College’s facilities. She joined the Cecil College Board of Trustees in 2005 and was present for the Elkton Station ribbon-cutting ceremony. Elkton Station replaced an older facility so the College could better serve the eastern region of Cecil County and provide an excellent opportunity for the people of Elkton to have educational resources in their neighborhood.

As a member of the Board, she oversaw the renovations of the Physical Education Complex and the most recent addition to the North East Campus, the artificial turf athletic field. In 2018, the board approved the construction of the athletic practice facility next to the baseball and softball fields, built from private donations.

Colenda credits the success of the College’s day-to-day operations to the leadership of Cecil College President Mary Way Bolt, Ed.D.

“I am so proud of what Dr. Bolt has accomplished, where she is, and how completely dedicated she is to this College. She is admired not only in this county but on the state and national level,” said Colenda. “In addition, we are blessed to have such wonderful faculty and staff who genuinely care about our students. They are not just plugging along and doing a job. They are committed.”

“There is not a finer place on the planet than Cecil County. I love Cecil County and the College. The economic diversity in this county is vast, so Cecil College plays a vital role in helping people help themselves.”