by MATT MOLINAR//Opinion Editor
Wayne Langehennig has devoted a large portion of his career to helping in the success of college students.
At the end of April, Langehennig, a Spanish professor on the Reese Center campus at South Plains College, will officially be presented as the president of the Texas Community College Teachers Association.
“I will be officially taking over at the end of the month, which will be our first executive committee meeting on April 30,” Langehennig said.
Langehennig has had previous involvement with the TCCTA, which he believes helped him with leadership skills.
“I quite honestly don’t remember when I first became a member,” Langehennig said. “Gail Malone, from Levelland, was a past president, and she was very instrumental in getting me to be involved.”
During Malone’s presidency, Langehennig received the opportunity to serve on a committee, which he says helped get his foot in the door serving as a leader.
“Two years ago, I was nominated to serve as treasurer for the TCCTA,” Langehennig said, “Last year, I served as secretary, and this past year I served as president elect.”
Langehennig says that he felt compelled to become more involved outside of the classroom. His whole motivation for doing so comes from his desire to help students succeed.
“Giving my ideas and getting input from other colleges makes me feel involved,” Langehennig said. “There is so much at stake with student success. I’ve had such a great opportunity to work with many talents across the state of Texas.”
Langehennig explains that there are some basic needs that need to be taken care of during his presidency.
“We have a theme every year, and the theme under the older president was called “Power of Partnerships,”” Langehennig said. “We looked at different partnerships and the way we came together as a community. Now what I want to do is not just look at those partnerships but look at how those partnerships work together.”
Langehennig has been involved with educating students for 24 years. He also taught dual-credit courses for high school students. He has been teaching at the Reese Center campus for 14 years. Prior to SPC, Langehennig taught at Texas Tech University, Lubbock ISD, and Plainview ISD.
Langehennig grew up in Andrews, Texas. He earned his degree in Spanish after attending the University of Texas-Permein Basin, then moved on to do graduate work at TTU.
Langehennig chose to teach at SPC for many reasons. However, he says SPC has something different that makes the school more approachable.
“At SPC, there are many people who are first-generation students,” Langehennig said. “I was a first-generation student. So being able to connect with these students on that level makes SPC stand out.”
Langehennig tells students that life is full of tough decisions. He says we must adapt to our situations.
“Make education a priority,” Langehennig explains. “Making hard decisions in your life will help you learn to adjust your life. Also, don’t choose the easy path in life. Make plenty of contacts throughout your career. You will need to know the right people, and you will always have someone to talk to. Students can easily feel alone.”