Lake Tahoe Community College trustee retires after 42 years
Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Wenck, a longtime local dentist who first became an elected member of the Lake Tahoe Community College Board of Trustees 42 years ago, formally retired in front of a large crowd at a board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Wenck is retiring from the system as the third longest-serving community college board trustee in California history, according to a press release from the college.
He first became a trustee on March 5, 1974, when the very first board of trustees was elected by South Lake Tahoe voters. At the same time, they also voted in favor of creating the Lake Tahoe Community College District, laying the groundwork for a college to come to South Lake Tahoe. Joining Wenck in that first trustee group were William Conlon, Rev. Donald Swanson, Dr. Will Cluff, and Roberta Mason, who retired as an LTCC trustee and board president in 2014 after 40 years of service.
New Board of Trustees President Karen Borges, who was sworn in by Wenck at the meeting Tuesday, said, “It’s rare for a community college in our state to have a trustee stay on board and be active and committed for this long. Fritz is really special, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his devotion to LTCC. He’s always thought about what’s best for the long-term viability of the college, what’s best for students, what’s best for everyone else. I have great respect for Fritz’s unwavering commitment to LTCC and to his community. I’ll miss him and his wisdom and experience.”
Dr. Wenck said that he “didn’t expect to be around this long” as a trustee, but he committed to it for the long haul because of the importance of the work.
“My goal right from the start was to get a college here, and to be a help to students and citizens of our town. Getting the school in place and making it open and accessible to anyone who wanted access, for vocational and transfer students in particular … this has been the most important part of the job,” Wenck said.
To honor Wenck’s long-time commitment and service to the college, a resolution was passed at the meeting recognizing his work. A measure to rename LTCC’s board room in Dr. Wenck’s name was also unanimously passed.
In addition to bidding Wenck a fond farewell, brand-new Trustee Nancy Dalton was also sworn in at Tuesday’s meeting. Dalton was elected to represent Trustee Area 4, which is bordered by Al Tahoe, Pioneer Trail, U.S. 50 out in Meyers and back into town up to the intersection with Al Tahoe.
Dalton, according to the press release, has a long track record of community engagement, local board experience, and has a deep connection to education, serving as a high school math teacher locally since 2002.