PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — After Doctor John Holdnak retired last spring, the Gulf Coast State College Board of Trustees appointed Doctor Cheryl Flax-Hyman to act as the interim president. 

“A lot of people think it should have been started way earlier,” Gulf Coast State College faculty senate president Doctor Jessica Edwards said. “We know this person is retiring. There’s a lot of people that thought that search should have started maybe a year before that because we know kind of it’s it’s an intense process and that they want to get the most qualified candidates.”

Staff said unprecedented conditions coupled and the lack of a permanent leader for months has had a toll on them. 

“Over the last few years, it’s been a really tough time for this area and it’s been especially hard on teachers because we’ve had to extend our semester to make up for time lost during the hurricane,” Edwards said. “We had to be very flexible with students.”

Despite the recent hardships, staff said the students’ education is of the utmost importance.

“I’m a big thing for making sure that we are getting our students to the level that they need to be,” Edwards said. “I just see this time and classroom autonomy.”

Staff said with the right leader in place they feel they will be able to get back on track.