students running

LTCC Demonstrates Strength and Perseverance during State of the College Address

09:15 AM - September 21, 2021

DeFranco speaking on stage

As classes prepared to resume, Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco presented the annual State of the College Address to raise awareness of the challenges the college has faced and the successes made during a tough year. The theme for this year's address was "Help Wanted," as DeFranco explained how the school and its community are one and the same and need to be unified to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and the Caldor Fire. He spoke to how the community shifted to distance learning during the pandemic and how that ability to adapt better prepared LTCC to mitigate the impacts of the Caldor Fire. In addition, the school and community jumped into action with initiatives like their Foundation’s Student Wildfire Relief Fund that delivered critical financial support to fire victims.

“During the fire of recent weeks, our entire school district was on mandatory evacuations. Educators and students were dealing with much ambiguity. There were many shared experiences of trauma and loss which took an emotional toll on many of us,” he expressed. “Our community supported us. We wanted to take our moment today to say thank you to the fire crews, first responders, partnering agencies, educators, students, families, and our community. It was absolutely a Team Tahoe effort!”

To keep their doors open, LTCC worked hand-in-hand with the El Dorado County Office of Education and Dr. Ed Manansala, El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools, to provide optional and timely vaccinations needed to keep educators safe. Dr. Manansala was in attendance, and DeFranco expressed his gratitude for that partnership. “During dire circumstances, LTCC delivered vital services and innovative educational opportunities for their students,” Dr. Manansala noted. “Their efforts are commendable, and we are proud to partner with this exemplary institution.”

DeFranco also acknowledged Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) and Superintendent Dr. Todd Cutler for their strong collaboration. “When I started as the Superintendent, I knew that as an organization we needed to build strong relationships within the community,” Dr. Cutler stated. “If we want to be the best district for our students, schools and our city, we need to be interdependent and maintain partnerships to facilitate positive work and change.” It was announced that a grant of $1,436,949 will go toward a dual immersion program between LTCC and LTUSD so students may earn college credit prior to graduating from high school.

The address noted additional investments that will benefit the community and surrounding natural environment. For example, DeFranco shared that all cadets who graduated from the Fire Academy in June served on the Caldor Fire in some capacity. In fall of 2022, LTCC will launch the Forestry Program where students will learn about active forest management and earn an associate science degree. “This will foster a prepared workforce to help meet the needs of the state,” DeFranco said. “We will also focus on building and maintaining a fire-prepared, 160 acre campus.”

The overall address was well attended and provided hope for the future. For more information about LTCC programs and enrollment opportunities, visit Donations to the Student Wildfire Relief Fund may be made at

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