Renfro Named 7th President of John Wood Community College

By Benjamin Cox on October 28, 2022 at 12:11pm

John Wood Community College has named its next president.

Dr. Bryan Renfro has been named the school’s seventh president. Renfro will start his new position on January 4th and succeeds President Michael Elbe, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Elbe’s official retirement date is December 31st.

Renfro says he’s in familiar ground, despite not living in the area, as his wife is a Pike County native. Renfro currently works as the Vice President of Academic Instruction at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas.

Renfro says he brings years of experience from working with previous community colleges across the country starting in teaching and now working his way up to John Wood’s top executive. He says he feels very fortunate for the opportunity.

Renfro says that he likes the comprehensive two-year higher education open enrollment platform because it gives everyone the opportunity who wants a certificate or a start into bachelor’s degree an opportunity to do so.

Renfro says his first order of business is gathering the needs of the community before making any changes: “I do have lots of ideas. I have had lots of experiences. I’ve developed over 20 new programs at various community colleges, but I really think I want to spend some more time in the area, get to know the area, understand the business and industry needs, and really try to meet those needs rather than it be just what I think we should develop. It really should be what the community needs and how they are involved in it. I am excited about the agriculture program. I grew up on a farm in East Tennessee, and I have a small cattle farm down here in Texas. That’s one of the other things that’s appealing to me about the region, and when we call it home – it’s the rural component and the agricultural component that we love about it, as well.”

Dr. Renfro says he’s looking forward to traveling the region and relocating in the next few months. He says its been his professional life’s aim to expand educational opportunities for others.