Laurel Ridge named to Great Colleges to Work for Honor Roll

For Immediate Release:
July 17, 2017

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

great college

For the sixth straight year, Laurel Ridge has been named a Great College to Work For® based on the latest workplace satisfaction survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a top trade publication for colleges and universities.

This also marks Laurel Ridge’s fifth time as an “Honor Roll” institution. Among two-year colleges, the 12 colleges that were cited most often across 11 recognition categories were named to the honor roll.

Laurel Ridge was one of just three community colleges in the nation to be cited in 10 of the 11 categories, and the only one in the medium-sized category (3,000-9,999 students). Laurel Ridge received high marks for collaborative governance; compensation and benefits; confidence in senior leadership; facilities, workspace and security; job satisfaction; professional/career development programs; respect and appreciation; supervisor/department chair relationship; teaching environment and work/life balance. 

great college

Facilities lead Steve Smith, instructional technology specialist Gannon Nordberg, Dr. Brandon Shaw, dean of science, engineering, math and health, and fitness center attendant Jayne Lewinski are recent graduates of the President’s Career Enrichment Program.

“Laurel Ridge is a great place to work because the college highly values its employees and creates a caring, positive work atmosphere,” Laurel Ridge President Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy says. “Their concerns, opinions, and thoughts about the college are solicited through various forums and college-wide events. We also offer a work atmosphere that supports a proper work/life balance through flexible work schedules, professional development opportunities, free fitness classes and wellness initiatives, and we encourage employees to build relationships with co-workers and the community.”

Cybersecurity program manager Dr. Henry Coffman’s job satisfaction has continued to increase after more than a decade at Laurel Ridge.

“I have been at the college for almost 13 years, and the working environment continues to grow through outstanding quality of leadership,” he says. “Everyone holds each other in high regard through collaborative discussions, superb technology support, and excellent administration and faculty interaction.”    

Associate Professor of Math Cyril Petras says everyone at Laurel Ridge collaborates in the pursuit of helping students succeed.

“I also think under Dr. Chery’ls leadership, the best people are hired for each job at the college,” he says. “It makes our jobs easier when we know that everyone around us is doing the best they can.”

More than 45,000 people working at 77 community colleges and 155 four-year colleges responded to the Great Colleges to Work For® survey, which was open to all accredited institutions with at least 500 students.


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.