DANVILLE — A 2004 Danville High School graduate and Iraq war veteran is the newest member of Danville Area Community College's board of trustees.
Neal Boyd, 26, of Danville, will be sworn into office as the college's student trustee at the board's meeting on Tuesday.
The Danville Area Community College Board of Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting is in Vermilion Hall, Room 302, at the campus, 2000 E. Main St. A copy of the agenda and board packet is available online at http://bit.ly/Jfa1Py .
Boyd will serve a one-year term, which runs to April 14, 2013. He succeeds Hayley Lockwood, whose term expired earlier this month.
Boyd ran against one other student during a campus-wide election held April 3 and 4.
"Both of them, from my perspective, were highly qualified and very dedicated students," said Dave Kietzmann, DACC's vice president of instruction and student services. "We are excited about Neal joining the board of trustees. He's a mature student, a veteran, and he seems to be very conscientious, hardworking and dedicated. We think he'll represent the interest of the students very well."
As the student trustee, Boyd has an advisory vote and can make or second motions, as well as participate in any discussions.
After graduating high school, Boyd said, he wasn't ready to jump into college. Instead, he enlisted in the Army.
"It turned out to be a really good experience," said Boyd, who served as a communications specialist at Fort Richardson, Alaska, and in Iraq for 13 months.
He later served in the Illinois National Guard for four more years, including a year in Egypt as part of an international peacekeeping force overseeing the terms of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
Boyd is a full-time second-year student, who is working toward an associate degree in criminal justice and a welding certificate. He also works part-time at the college's career and employment services office.
He said he's wanted to be in public service since serving as a Peer Court volunteer and volunteering in the Vermilion County state's attorney's office as a younger student.
"My generation is going to inherit this country, this state, this community whether we want to or not. So I think it's incumbent on people like me who really care to step up to the plate and be there when the torch is passed so we don't drop it," Boyd said, adding he decided to run for the seat after talking to Lockwood about the responsibilities and then attending board meetings.
He is also running as a Republican candidate for a District 7 seat on the Vermilion County Board in the November election.
As for his DACC position, Boyd said he has no agenda; he just wants to learn more about how the college functions, be a good steward of the college's resources and represent his constituents.
"I want to be their voice," he said. "At the same time, I want to look out for the interest of the faculty and staff and the taxpayers who live in the 507th district. I don't want to be thought of as the guy who takes all of the student complaints and dumps them before the board. I want to do the same job as the other trustees, and I will."