Executive Leadership Council

The Executive Leadership Council works collaboratively to make decisions with the goal of strengthening the College through an understanding of various perspectives across the College.  The ELC utilizes data and input from Councils including  Staff Council, Committees, and the Faculty Senate in making decisions as part of Shared Governance.  The ELC serves in an advisory role to the President as well.  


Members of the Executive Leadership Council are by position and include:


Sarah Benton

Faculty Senate President and American Sign Language Faculty

Sarah is a full-time faculty member and has been teaching American Sign Language Interpreting and American Sign Language since 2011.  She is also the statewide interpreter representative and Commissioner on the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Sarah is a Mediator for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Ethical Practices System and a community freelance interpreter.  Originally from New York, Sarah comes from a family with many Deaf and hard of hearing members.  She and her family have resided in Flagstaff since 2003.

Kay Leum

Executive Director of Extended Learning

Kay proudly serves as the Executive Director of Extended Learning, working from the CCC Page Campus.  After she received her Recreation & Parks Administration M.S. from Indiana University she moved to Montana and began working in Orientation and Admissions. Since 1991 she has been active in serving students through recruitment, new student transition, registration, to graduation and beyond, and now in lifelong learning, workforce training, and entrepreneurial activities.  Kay has attended or worked at institutions ranging from 800 to 40,000 students, from 2-year community colleges to flagship universities, public and private. Kay loves anything outdoors and sports-related, especially when it involves her husband, two daughters, Lake Powell, her dog, and golf clubs.

Steve Peru

Steve Peru

Chief External Affairs Officer/Executive Director, Coconino Community College Foundation

Steve Peru joined Coconino Community College in 2019. Before CCC, Steve served as President/CEO of United Way of Northern Arizona covering the Coconino, Navajo, and Apache county areas.  Steve’s first career was in local government serving in a variety of roles at Coconino County, including Coconino County Manager, before leaving in 2011 to work in the private sector at W. L. Gore & Associates.  Steve is a product of Arizona community colleges, attending Eastern Arizona College before transferring to Northern Arizona University to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work and a Master's degree in Public Administration.  

April Sandoval

April Sandoval

Assistant to the President - Board Recorder

April joined CCC in 2014 and manages the Office of the President, supports the District Governing Board and Executive Leadership Council, and coordinates work related to policies and procedures.  April is an Arizona native who moved to Flagstaff in 2001 to start her educational career. After completing an associate's degree in Administration of Justice at Coconino Community College in 2004, April went on to complete a Bachelors Degrees in Criminal Justice and Public Agency Service (emphasis in Public Administration) in 2007 and a Master's degree in Administration (emphasis in Professional Writing) in May of 2015, all from Northern Arizona University.  All degrees were completed with the highest honors and April credits her success in education to the foundation she received from the amazing faculty and staff at Coconino Community College.  Before coming to CCC, April served as Graduate Admissions Coordinator for the Graduate College and Administrative Associate for the School of Forestry for Northern Arizona University.   April was recently recognized with the 2020 Association of Community Colleges Professional Board Staff Award.   

April Sandoval

Janan Scott

Staff Council Chair and Purchasing Specialist, Senior

Janan joined Coconino Community College in 2014 as the Purchasing Specialist. She attained her Associate’s Degree through Mohave Community College in 2006 and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northern Arizona University in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. Originally from Parker, Arizona, Janan relocated to Flagstaff in 2010. In addition to serving on Staff Council, Janan is also an active member of the Employee Wellness Committee and is co-coordinator for CCC’s community garden. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, paddle boarding, and going on nature walks.  

Dietrich Sauer

Dietrich Sauer

Executive Director of Human Resources

Dietrich Sauer joined Coconino Community College in 2017 as Executive Director of Human Resources and oversees the CCC Human Resources department. Prior to FUSD, Dietrich held positions in the private sector with several Fortune 500 organizations including Deckers Brands (the makers of Teva and Ugg Australia Footwear) as their E-commerce HR Leader; Deluxe Corporation (banking and small business services) as their Area Human Resources manager supporting manufacturing plants, distribution centers, and customer service centers throughout North America; and Carson Industries (Plastics Manufacturer with seven global locations) as their Director of Human Resources.  His passion is championing positive employee relations and encouraging employee engagement to make the College a best place to work and an employer of choice.

Nathaniel Southerland

J. Nathaniel "Nate" Southerland

Provost - Chief Academic Officer

Nate joined Coconino Community College in May 2018. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University, Nate began his career teaching physics, chemistry, and jazz on the Navajo Nation and worked as a curriculum and content developer and an educational technologist after receiving a Master’s degree in International Rural & Community Development from Utah State University. He earned his PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy from the University of Utah, where he has taught courses in higher education governance, policy, and finance as an adjunct professor while working in academic and student affairs administration and teaching statistics at Salt Lake Community College for the last nine years. In addition to his love of teaching and learning and a graduate specialization in higher education leadership, Nate’s areas of research include adult learning theory, engagement and retention of adult students, and quantitative research methods. Although Nate was raised in Florida and his spouse in southern California, they both have deep ties to northern Arizona and New Mexico extending back several generations and are excited to be putting down roots in Flagstaff.

Jami Van Ess

Jami Van Ess

Executive Vice President - Chief Financial Officer

Jami oversees the operations of Accounting and Finance, Budgeting, Facilities and Security, Information Technology Services, Purchasing and Auxiliary Services, and Student Financial Aid and Veterans Services. Before joining the College in 1998, she was the Vice President for Administrative Services at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Illinois. Jami received her Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy from Northern Arizona University, and a master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix. Jami earned her doctoral degree from Grand Canyon University in 2020.  She is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Arizona.  

Jami Van Ess

Anthony Williams

Dean of Student Affairs - Chief Student Affairs Officer

Anthony “Tony” Williams earned his Master’s degree from Western Washington University where he specialized as a Student Personnel Administrator in Higher Education.  Since graduating in 1997, Tony has served in various director, associate dean, and dean level positions providing direct leadership in the delivery of academic advising services, counseling and career services, new student orientation, disability support services, childcare services, re-entry services, retention, strategic enrollment management, TRiO programs, student life and activities, athletics, housing, and student conduct administration to name a few. In addition to his Master’s degree, Tony has continued his education and training in the field of Human Resources and has been certified by the HR Institute as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and certified by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP).  He is an active member of the Associate of Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA), is a graduate of the ASCA Donald G. Gehring Academy on Judicial Affairs in Higher Education, and has certifications from the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) as a Title IX and Civil Right Investigator and as a Title IX Coordinator.