Originally published Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 07:27p.m.

Stacy Klippenstein wanted to be a teacher since the third grade, and he has been in the world of education ever since.

He was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Hamilton, Montana. Now, he is making Kingman his home.

Klippenstein started this summer as the new Mohave Community College President.

“I remember being in the third grade and I loved my third-grade teacher. There was something about the environment and remember telling her ‘I want to be a teacher,’” Klippenstein said.

While attending high school, he had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for a history teacher. Being in that environment and seeing what goes on behind the scenes, “sucked him” right into it.

After graduating high school he became a Yellowjacket at Montana State University – Billings, then named Eastern Montana College. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MSU Billings.

“I started working full-time after my bachelor’s degree and worked on my master’s while I was there,” he said.

Klippenstein also met his wife, Carrie, at MSU Billings. They have two sons, Steven and Ty, both college graduates.

Klippenstein attended Nova Southeastern University and received his doctorate degree in higher education leadership.

After Montana, he went down south to work at Texas Tech University. From Texas, he went to work at Northern Arizona University.

“That’s where I became a little more familiar with this whole area,” Klippenstein said. “So when this position opened up it was a no-brainer for my wife and I in regards to we knew the location, we like this area, we were still close to friends that lived in Flagstaff and in a way it felt like coming home.”

Before coming home, he went back to his alma mater at MSU Billings where he was the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Housing and also the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

And before coming to Mohave County he was the Miles City Community College President in Miles City, Montana for six years.

He’s never been a high school teacher, although he was a substitute teacher for a year, but he’s been in higher education for the majority of his career. Klippenstein taught at the college level.

“Just being around the educational environment, that was my desire. It wasn’t maybe to teach; it was being around the educational environment,” he said. “Working with students in the classroom and out of the classroom, helping someone be successful, you see who is really home sick and being able to create an environment for them that four years later they are crossing the stage at commencement, that’s what you really start to get hooked on.”

Klippenstein said it’s the same thing with being at a two-year institution, like seeing a 40-year-old single mother go back to school.

“You see her come in, not really having the confidence, but ... because of how she was treated by faculty and assisted by staff, to go across the stage in two years, you can’t beat that,” he said.

He’s been at MCC for three months now and has enjoyed meeting the staff at the various campuses, meet people that care for the institution, and now getting to meet the students.

When asked about what his vision is for the college, Klippenstein said everything.

“Right now utilizing this current year to complete the strategic planning process to help have community members, faculty staff and students really help set the vision for the college. It’s not just me. I have thoughts because I’ve been in higher-ed for a long time but at the same time it’s about the communities who help,” he said.

Since starting his position as MCC president, he has met with city leaders, business leaders, county leaders and education leaders.

“Being able to meet with various different people and have that dialogue about what we can do to improve our output and helping them,” Klippenstein said.