The list of finalists for the next president to lead Lord Fairfax Community College is down to four.

A search began several months ago when Cheryl Thompson-Stacy announced that she would be retiring on Feb. 1 after nine years as president of the college, which has campuses in Middletown and in Warrenton.

The State Board for Community Colleges certified the four finalists from among 102 nationwide applicants.

The candidates are Kimberly P. Blosser, LFCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs; Annesa Cheek, vice president for school and community partnerships at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio; Julie Leidig, campus provost for the Loudoun campus of Northern Virginia Community College; and J. Michael Thomson, college vice president and eastern campus president of Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.

Starting today, a series of forums open to the public will be held this month so that the candidates can introduce themselves and answer questions.  

Each of the candidates will attend two of the public forums – one on the Middletown campus in the Carl and Emily Thompson Conference Center in the Corron Community Development Center, and the other on the Warrenton campus in The Barn. During each forum, each candidate will provide information on his or her professional background and goals, give a 10-minute presentation on a specific topic and take part in a 40-minute question-and-answer session.

Thomson will attend the forums scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the Middletown campus and the one at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Warrenton campus.

It is an honor to be a finalist to be President at Lord Fairfax – a high-performing institution in a state system with a strong vision,” Thomson wrote in an email.

He referred all other information to Virginia Community Colleges.

Cheek will attend the forum at 2 p.m. Dec. 11 on the Middletown campus, and a second one at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 12 on the Warrenton campus.

I am deeply committed to the idea of contributing to society by creatively enabling students of all backgrounds to succeed,” Cheek wrote in an email. “I believe that America’s strength and values are put to best use by a skilled and educated workforce ready to adapt to change and prepared to harness the future. It is extremely rewarding to me to work with others to connect students with educational opportunities that enable them to develop their potential and become economically independent, contributing members of society.”

Blosser will attend the forums at 2 p.m. Dec. 12 on the Middletown campus, and at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13 on the Warrenton campus.

Lord Fairfax Community College has been my work home for more than 5 years, and is the college that serves the community I have lived in for the majority of my life,” Blosser wrote in an email. “I care very deeply about the college and the region we serve. I know the good work that has gone at LFCC under Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy’s leadership, and it is my goal to continue the positive environment she has created, to build upon and expand community relationships, and to continue to ensure LFCC remains, as I believe it is today, Virginia’s most outstanding community college.”

Leidig will attend the final forums at 2 p.m. Dec. 13 in Middletown, and 10:30 a.m. Dec. 14 in Warrenton.

“There are many things that attract me to the position,” Leidig wrote in an email. “It’s a vibrant, beautiful region that is brimming with opportunities for a community college to make a difference. It’s also a highly successful college that is seen as a leader in Virginia. I’m excited about working with the team there to take the college to new heights. People clearly love to work at LFCC, the fact it’s known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere suggests that it would be a great fit for me.”