Local public works manager is first in U.S. to earn new degree

Don Strange, streets superintendent for the city of Highland Village, is the first graduate of Front Range Community College’s new degree program in highway maintenance management.

Strange dropped out of high school over 30 years ago due to his father’s death and mother’s medical condition, according to a FRCC blog. But he earned his GED and earlier this month, he earned a two-year college degree, thanks to his expertise in the field.

“Two years ago I had no intention of going to college,” Strange said. “My experience proves that with hard work you can change your family’s dynamic and achieve things you never thought possible.”

Nationwide, the industry previously had no degree specific to this kind of work.

“Don and his classmates have focused their careers on keeping our roads safe and keeping us all moving every day,” said Sue Baillargeon, director of FRCC’s program. “Now they’re helping raise the bar for the entire industry—for local and state public works employees all over the country.”

Strange had considered higher education previously, but there were no options that worked with his specific field of public works maintenance.

“As someone with 34 years of experience in this field, I can tell you FRCC offers a quality education that translates into the field,” Strange said. “This is very good training.”

Click here for the full blog post.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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