The mayors of St. Clair County’s largest city and one of its smallest towns both say St. Clair County Community College was there when they needed it.
Pauline Repp of Port Huron and Bill Cedar of St. Clair are both the longest-serving mayors in their respective towns.
Repp, 68, is serving her 10th year as mayor of Port Huron. She retired in 1989 after 20 years as the city clerk.
Born in England, Repp grew up in Canada and St. Clair and became a U.S. citizen in 1987. Repp began working in advertising at The Times Herald but left to take care of her young family. She then began working at the City of Port Huron as executive secretary to the city manager before being promoted to city clerk.
Repp said she couldn’t finish her classes at SC4 at the time but was fortunate enough to be able to return years later to take the remaining classes she needed.
“I started attending SC4 in the late 1960s while working but did not complete (my degree) at that time,” she said. “In the late 1980s, I re-enrolled and completed my associate degree in business administration.”
She said being able to obtain a quality education close to home is a blessing.
“When I decided to complete my associate degree, I had just been appointed as city clerk, and I felt that this additional education would be an enhancement to my career,” Repp continued.
“Attending classes at a local institution while working and being, at the time, a single mother was a necessary advantage,” she said. “The fact that you can get a quality education locally is the ideal opportunity, and I feel that I have definitely utilized what I learned in the SC4 environment.”
Bill Cedar, 62, has been mayor of St. Clair for the past 19 years after previously serving as a council member for eight years. He taught government, U.S. history, world history and physical education at East China Community Schools for 30 years.
He received an associate degree from SC4 and went on to earn a bachelor’s from Central Michigan University and master’s from Wayne State University.
Cedar said he was able to get a good start on his education at SC4.
“I was able to avoid student loans and do part-time work close to home,” he said. “I feel the smaller class sizes allowed me to get to know my professors better.”
Cedar added the college’s professors were both encouraging and compassionate.
“The thing about SC4 that I think helped me was the professors who took a genuine interest in my education,” Cedar added. “They treated me with kindness and care.”