President Matonak set to retire in summer 2018

Nick Fisk
Staff Writer

President Andrew Matonak has served the college for nearly 13 years. PHOTO BY DYLAN HAUGEN

President Andrew Matonak has served the college for nearly 13 years.

President Andrew Matonak, known to many simply as “Drew,” is retiring from his position after 13 years of working at the college, effective Aug. 2018.

“The average tenure for a community college president is about five years, and I’ve been here for 13,” Matonak said.
While Matonak has loved his time here, he feels it is the right time to leave.

Matonak explained that he has both professional and personal reasons for choosing to retire at this point in his career.
“We’ve had a number of vice presidents retiring,” Matonak said.

“I felt it was good for the college to have new leadership. From a personal perspective, my wife and I were planning on retiring around this time, so the time was right for me.”
There’s been a lot of recent development at Hudson Valley, including the completed construction of College Suites and the addition of new career programs. Matonak believes the combined efforts of the entire faculty have made these advancements possible.

“I haven’t accomplished anything on my own,” Matonak said. “It’s really everybody here at the college focusing on what’s best for the students.

He also stated that a great deal of work has gone on behind-the-scenes throughout his tenure. Matonak wished to share his most memorable experiences at the college.

He first told us that he loved working individually with students to help prepare them for successful futures.
“Every year, [students] have done a tremendous job and this year’s no different,” Matonak said.

Matonak also shared that he hears an echoed sentiment, from students and faculty alike, that HVCC provides students with steadfast support and encouragement. “This college has more people that care about our students, and that’s really what makes Hudson Valley a special place,” Matonak said.
Matonak also talked about the level of motivation he sees in students.

“Sometimes students come here motivated, and sometimes they need someone to motivate them,” Matonak said. “We have the faculty and staff to help motivate them, and that’s what I value at this college.”

With elections right around the corner, we asked President Matonak how involved he was with finding his replacement. While he said he “had an opportunity to have lunch with the candidates and answer questions for them,” he explained that he hasn’t been involved whatsoever with the process.

As far as life after Hudson Valley, Matonak plans to move to Myrtle Beach, S.C. but still intends to stay busy.
“It’s time for a different challenge,” Matonak said. “I might do something in the community. I might volunteer. Knowing me, I’m going to want to be busy.”

Matonak looks back on his tenure at HVCC with fondness and pride.

“We’ve been able to accomplish a lot of things,” Matonak said. “I’ve been here for almost 13 years. It’s a good place. I’m [going to] miss the faculty and staff, the students and the community.”

Matonak expressed that he will travel occasionally, but he wants to come back to visit the area often.

We asked President Matonak if there was anything else he wanted the students of Hudson Valley to know before he left.

“Well, it was the same thing that I wanted students to know when I [first] came [to Hudson Valley] — that they are the most important people here at this college,” Matonak said. “[The faculty is] all here to serve them and create the environment and opportunities that they need to have.”

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