New trustees sworn in for Isothermal Community College

Published 2:37 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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Jordan Barnes and Tony Helton were sworn in last week to the Isothermal Community College Board of Trustees.

Barnes and Helton are the first two appointees from the North Carolina General Assembly. Barnes was appointed by the House and Helton by the Senate. Last year, lawmakers passed a bill that moved community college trustee appointments from the Governor to the General Assembly.

“I want to thank N.C. Speaker of the House Tim Moore for having the confidence in me to serve on the Isothermal Community College Board of Trustees,” said Barnes. “The North Carolina Community College System is one of the best in the country, and I look forward to working with Pres. Annunziata, ICC faculty and staff, and other members of the Board of Trustees to make sure ICC offers educational opportunities that fit our region’s needs to help prepare students for professional career opportunities.”

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A Rutherford County native, Barnes graduated from R-S Central High School and UNC-Charlotte. He started his career in banking and finance before becoming the Western North Carolina regional representative for Sen. Thom Tillis. In late 2022, Barnes started working as a program manager at Foothills Regional Commission.

Helton is no stranger to the board, having served as a member in the 1990s when he also served as a member of the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners. Helton is chief executive officer at Tutelage Education Solutions, LLC. He has been involved in charter school operations and management for many years, including serving as athletic director, dean of students, and head football coach at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy.

Helton and Barnes were sworn in by Leslie Blankenship, Isothermal’s assistant controller, with Pres. Margaret Annunziata present. Danna Stansbury, the director of Foothills Regional Commission, held the Bible for Barnes and Helton’s wife, Amy, held the Bible for him.

The new trustees were appointed to a four-year term.


Submitted by Mike Gavin