“Jimmy has been a great asset to our system for many years, and we’re so proud to be naming him to this post today. He’s incredibly talented in the realm of technical education and is well respected throughout the state for his work in our colleges,” said LCTCS President Joe D. May. “We’re happy to bring Jimmy home to Morgan City and know that he’ll do an outstanding job leading South Central Louisiana Technical College.”
Sawtelle will assume responsibilities as the regional director, filling the vacancy created by longtime Regional Director Gregory L. Garrett, who recently announced his retirement after an extensive and impressive career in technical education that spanned more than 32 years.
“I am truly honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve at South Central Louisiana Technical College. We are excited about returning to South Louisiana and being a part of such an innovative and successful college. Outgoing Director Garrett has a remarkable legacy, and he left big shoes to fill; yet I look forward to continuing in the longstanding tradition of offering services for students, businesses, and industry. This college and our communities owe him a great debt of gratitude,” said Sawtelle.
Sawtelle currently serves as interim regional director of Central Louisiana Technical Community College and has led the college since April of last year. He also serves as vice president for career and technical education within the Louisiana Community and Technical College System office, a role he has held since 2006.
Prior to joining LCTCS, Sawtelle served as a workforce development officer and campus dean at SCLTC. In addition, he has served in the roles of interim regional director and electronic learning director at Acadiana Technical College.
During his tenure as interim director, Sawtelle assisted with overseeing the construction of the new Ferriday and Huey P. Long campus developments. Also during this tenure, CLTC transitioned to a technical community college under Senate Bill 247, authored by Sen. Gerald Long (District 31). The Ferriday campus development is a $5.2 million project and will include a new 11,500-square-foot nursing addition along with a renovation to the existing 10,900-square-foot main classroom building. The Huey P. Long campus development is an $11.5 million project that will include a new 51,000-square-foot building.
Both projects are part of the Act 391 facilities project, which was passed during the 2007 legislative session and includes 23 projects for 14 community and technical colleges throughout the state and a total bond package of $173.7 million. The main campus of SCLTC, Young Memorial, is part of these projects as well. The Young Memorial campus development is a $5.98 million project and includes a 23,000 square foot expansion and renovations to the existing building. The new addition to Young Memorial will open in August for the fall semester.
Sawtelle earned his Bachelor’s degree from Nicholls State University and his Master’s degree from McNeese State University. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree from the University of New Orleans. He grew up in Evangeline Parish and will return to Morgan City with his wife Laura and two children, Jack and Maria.