WATERTOWN, SD – The Watertown School Board named Lake Area Technical Institute Vice-President Michael Cartney the next president of Lake Area Tech during a special school board meeting Monday. Cartney, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, has been Vice-President at Lake Area Tech since 2007. He and his wife, Harriett, reside in Watertown.
“We look forward to Mike’s leadership and Lake Area Tech’s continuing progress as one of the top four two-year colleges in the nation,” said Dr. Lesli Jutting, Watertown School District Superintendent.
Cartney will assume the position on July 1, 2014, following the retirement of current Lake Area Tech President Deb Shephard.
“I am truly honored and humbled by the board’s decision and I enthusiastically accept the offer of President of Lake Area Technical Institute,” Cartney said. “Lake Area Tech is my passion. I love LATI, its people, and its mission. And, this community is where I grew up, its values are my values, its future is my future. I know there are some big shoes to fill with Deb’s departure. Lake Area Tech is one of the top schools in the country and we will maintain that stature. Together, with the Board’s and Dr. Jutting’s support, I am up to the challenge. I see a bright and innovative future for Lake Area Tech. A future focused on our students, and built on the foundation of culture, caring, regional partnerships, and national leadership that are the hallmarks of Lake Area Tech. I look forward to the future as I am sure that together, we can make great things happen.”
Born south of Pierre, Cartney moved to Watertown with his family in 1970 and graduated from Watertown High School in 1977. His father, Jim Cartney, founded Cartney Bearing, and Mike’s brother Ken and nephew Travis operate the Watertown and Aberdeen stores.
Cartney earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the Air Force Academy in 1981, an Organizational Leadership Certification from Squadron Officer School in 1984, a Master of Science degree in Numerical Analysis for EDP from Purdue University in 1986, a Senior Leadership Certification from International Command and Staff College in 1994, and was a National Fellow to Harvard University in 2000.
During his time at the Air Force Academy, Cartney taught and was aide-de-camp. While completing his fellowship at Harvard University, he was an associate professor and also wrote a Harvard Press publication, “The Art of Balancing Information Sharing and Security.” Cartney’s last military assignment was as liaison for the Air Force Academy to the White House and Congress. He is highly decorated for duty from the Cold War, Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Desert Fox, Bosnia, Kosovo, the Global War on Terrorism, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle.