Glen Oaks Community College

Graduation 2024

Board of Trustees

Bruce Gosling

Bruce Gosling

Chairperson

Bruce Gosling, is a principal of Gabridge & Co., a licensed CPA firm, where he manages the operations of the Sturgis office.A graduate of Sturgis High School, Bruce earned an Associate of General Studies degree from Glen Oaks before transferring to Tri-State University (now Trine University) in Angola, Indiana, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with high honors.

In addition to serving since 2003 on the Board of Trustees at Glen Oaks, and serving as chair since November, 2016, Bruce volunteers a lot of time to other businesses and organizations as well. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Century Bank & Trust Co. since March, 2012.

Gosling received the Sturgis Citizen of the Year Award in 2019, was honored by the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce for volunteerism in 2017, and was named as one of the Outstanding Young Men in America in 1982.

And there’s good reason for all those awards – as Bruce very much supports and cares about the community. He is active in a number of civic organizations including the Sturgis Kiwanis, the Sturgis Salvation Army Advisory Board and he was a member and past president of the Sturgis Exchange Club.

Bruce served as the founding member and treasurer on the Board of the Sturgis Neighborhood program. He has served in the St. Joseph County Conservation and Sportsman Club, Sturgis Historical Society, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Meridian Sun-Eagle Lodge #49 and he serves in his church – First United Methodist.

Bruce is a lifelong resident of St. Joseph County. He and his wife, Leslie, have three grown children, (Tamara, Joshua and Megan) all of whom attended and graduated from Glen Oaks Community College.

Carol Higgins

Carol Higgins

Vice-Chairperson

Carol Higgins was born and raised in Mendon, Michigan, although she graduated from Vicksburg High School. She took classes at Glen Oaks and Kalamazoo Valley Community College before transferring to Nazareth College where she earned her bachelor’s in education. She received her master’s from Western Michigan University in general science education and taught fourth and fifth grade science for 17 years at Marcellus Schools.

Carol is currently a substitute teacher at Mendon Schools, and she works part-time at Viva restaurant in Mendon. She previously worked at Monsanto Seed Lab in Constantine.

In the community, Carol served as chair of the SJC Conservation District Board for ten years and she currently remains on the board. She is a member of the Churches Earth Care team, the Friends of the St. Joseph River Board, Mendon Women’s Club, and the SJC Solid Waste Committee. Recently, she has worked with Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County to establish the Mendon Housing Initiative with hopes of building a habitat home in Mendon next year.

Gardening is Carol’s passion and she is a master gardener through Michigan State University.

She and her husband, Larry, enjoy golf. They have six grown children all married and living in Michigan, and eight grandchildren with another on the way. Her granddaughter is a third generation Glen Oaks’ student. They enjoy water activities, walking and biking.

Side note: Carol and her husband built a timber fame home on Portage Lake and operated it as Arrowhead Cove Bed and Breakfast for eight years.

Kimberlee Bontrager

Kimberlee Bontrager

Treasurer

Kimberlee Bontrager is president/owner of Locey CPA, in Sturgis, a public accounting firm serving clients with accounting, audit and tax related matters.

Kim was born and raised in Sturgis, Michigan. She graduated from high school and went on to earn a bachelor’s in communications from Central Michigan University. She received a second bachelor’s in business administration and a master’s in business administration with a major in accounting both from the University of Central Florida. She is a certified public account active in both Florida and Michigan.

Kim held financial related positions at General Electric, Electronic Data Systems Corp., SunGard Higher Education (Now Ellucian), Michigan State University and Lincoln Memorial University prior to taking over her father’s business in 2015.

Kim is deeply involved in the community. In addition to serving on the GOCC board, she also serves on a number of other community boards including Sturgis Bank and Trust, Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services, Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce, Thurston Woods, Sturgis Foundation and she is a member of the Sturgis Kiwanis Club.

The Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce named Kim as Sturgis Citizen of the Year in 2021.

Rod Lopez

Rod Lopez

Secretary

Rod Lopez is an independent insurance agent at Preferred Insurance Service of Sturgis, where he writes policies and works to find the best coverage and premium match for his clients. He sells policies for property loss including natural disasters and vandalism and provides customer support for his clients.

Previously employed at Diversified Machine, in Bristol, Indiana, Rod was a human resources generalist/manager, serving as part of the leadership team to provide advice, counsel, and interpretation to management on all human resource initiatives, policies, procedures and practices that impact company performance, improve employee satisfaction, and ensure compliance with state, local and federal guidelines and policies to protect the business and its employee.

Rod earned an Associate in Business from Glen Oaks and went on to receive both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Davenport University, in Kalamazoo.

Rod, and his wife, Maribel, reside in Sturgis, and have four grown children. His daughter, Alyssa, took advantage of the Early Middle College Program to the fullest. While at Sturgis High School; she received 42 college credits from Glen Oaks, and every single one transferred to Western Michigan University to further her studies.

Elizabeth Datkovic

Elizabeth Datkovic

Trustee

Elizabeth Datkovic was born in Peru, and came to the United States as an adult with a master’s in communications from the University of Catholic Santa Maria. Upon graduation in 1980, she and her two children moved to Sturgis, where her sister was living. Although she spoke four languages, English was not one of them. She moved to New York City and attended Queens College where she learned English and basic computers. She returned to Michigan and attended MSU where she completed her second masters’ degree in adult education. She came back to Sturgis with her family and taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and Spanish for 17 years within Sturgis Public Schools and others.

Elizabeth also opened Centro de Ayuda in 1998 a non-profit organization in Sturgis to help and educate the newcomers, provide social interaction and work on social issues.

As if all this wasn’t enough, Elizabeth purchased Fiesta Mexicana, a Mexican restaurant in Sturgis and operated it with her husband, Tony, for over 12 years.

Elizabeth received the Outstanding Leadership award from the State of Michigan in 2001, was named Sturgis Citizen of the Year in 2002, received the Hispanic Advocate Civil Duty award in 2003 from the Telamon Farmworkers Corporation, and because of her work in establishing Centro de Ayuda she received the St. Joseph County Liberty Bell award.

In addition to serving on the Glen Oaks Board of Trustees, and as a liaison to the GOCC Foundation, Elizabeth is the past president of the Lyons Club and Sturgis Woman’s Club and is vice-chair of the St. Joseph Covered Bridge Clinic.

Rick Cordes

Rick Cordes

Trustee

Richard H. Cordes (Rick), a graduate of Mendon Community Schools, was one of the pioneering students at Glen Oaks Community College, attending classes during its inaugural session held at the old White Pigeon Middle School. Rick earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Journalism and furthered his education with a master’s degree from Western Michigan University’s College of Education.

Rick brings a wealth of experience to the Board of Trustees, having served as a dedicated teacher and principal at Colon Community Schools. His journalistic background is highlighted by his tenure as a respected contributor to the Three Rivers Commercial-News.

A strong advocate for local education, Rick has tirelessly championed the unique opportunities provided by our county’s school of higher education. He has demonstrated his commitment by chairing two separate Glen Oaks Community College millage campaign committees over the decades.

Beyond his contributions to education, Rick is an active member of the community. He has lent his expertise to various boards and committees, including Three Rivers Health, Beacon Three Rivers Health Auxiliary, Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority, and Camp Wakeshma, among others.

In his leisure time, Rick and his wife Laurel reside on Fishers Lake in Three Rivers, where they indulge in water sports. They regularly travel across the U.S. to visit their six grown children, 13 grandchildren as well as five cats and seven dogs.

Joe Haas

Joe Haas

Trustee

P. Joseph Haas, Jr., was raised in Mendon, having graduated from Mendon High School in 1984. He attended Kalamazoo College, where he earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in economics, and then enrolled in the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctorate.

Joe is a shareholder in the law firm of HaasCaywood PC, which has offices in Sturgis and Coldwater.

Joe is a member of the St. Joseph County Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, and Indiana Bar Association.

Joe has presented and instructed for numerous seminars as well as Glen Oaks Community College, the St. Joseph County Human Resources Council and the Michigan Finance Officers Association.

Actively involved in the community, Joe has served and has held officer positions in a large number of organizations including the Sturgis City Commission, Sturgis Exchange Club, Sturgis Elks, Sturgis Hospital, Sturgis Area Community Foundation, Sturgis Chamber of Commerce, St. Joseph County United Way, St. Joseph County Transportation Authority, and many others – too numerous to mention.

Joe was named Sturgis Citizen of the Year in 2015 by the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce.

Joe and his wife, Joyce, have two grown sons Patrick and Jacob, their daughter-in-law Cassidy, and two grandsons Phin and Oliver.