Margaret Ellibee: Takes on Big Job

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 12:00 am  

Margaret Ellibee (Photo by Michael Pirnique)

Margaret Ellibee’s career path started when her parents decided to retire to Heber Springs.

Ellibee, a Wisconsin native, had recently graduated from Iowa State University in Ames. She followed her parents to Arkansas and soon had a job teaching vocational agriculture to sophomores and seniors at Stuttgart High School.

From Stuttgart, Ellibee got a teaching assistantship in Fayetteville at the University of Arkansas’ agricultural education program. After receiving her master’s there, she went on to the Iowa Department of Education as an agricultural education consultant.

“I was responsible to 100-some-odd secondary vocational aged programs in the eastern part of the state,” she said. “My boss, who was the state director, saw something in me. He said, ‘You need to look at possibly becoming a leader.’”

Ellibee said she was able to branch out and covered policy, legislation, budgeting and different aspects of career and technical education outside of agriculture.

Soon, Ellibee returned to school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison for a doctorate in administration.

“I focused it on curriculum and instruction,” she said. “It was tremendous. It was great fun, a great learning experience. I was very fortunate to be involved in national research.”

After that she bounced from Oklahoma to Wisconsin in several administrative jobs, and her entry to higher education came when a friend suggested she apply for a vice presidential position at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wis.

That position was her springboard into her new job as president of 12,000-student Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock, the fourth-largest institution of higher education in the state behind only the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Since succeeding Dan Bakke in August, Ellibee has also become involved with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Pulaski Tech

She said technical and community colleges are an important part of the higher education model.

 

 

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