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When the President Needs a Break

Toward the end of her seventh year as president of Montgomery College, in 2017, DeRionne P. Pollard was asked by a board member how she was doing. “I’m getting a little burned out,” said the leader of the three-campus community college in suburban Maryland. A dynamic speaker, a first-generation college graduate, a community leader, a wife, a mother — Pollard juggled it all. For her work, she’d recently been one of seven college presidents awarded the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award, but the workload was taking a toll. When a previous Montgomery College president mentioned he had taken a sabbatical, she was eager to learn more. After a year of planning, Pollard took six months off to get healthy and rejuvenate.

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