Office of the President
Welcome to Sauk Valley Community College. At Sauk, we are dedicated to teaching and scholarship and engage our Sauk Valley communities in lifelong learning, public service, and economic development.
Located on the beautiful Rock River, the College is a vibrant collection of educators who create inspiring and supportive environments where every student and every community partner is valued.
Stop by and let us assist you in becoming the next Sauk Success.
- Dr. Dave Hellmich
Dave began his tenure as the President of Sauk Valley Community College in July of 2015. He serves on the Board of the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce, KSB Hospital, Rock River Hospice and Home, and the Sauk Valley Community Leadership Program.
Prior to coming to SVCC, he served for 28 years as an administrator and English professor at community colleges in Florida, Minnesota, and Kentucky. Dave has taught graduate courses in ethical leadership in Minnesota and Kentucky, and he is the editor of and contributing author for Ethical Leadership in Community Colleges: Bridging Theory and Daily Practice.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from DePauw University, his Master of Arts in American Literature from Indiana University, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Florida.
His wife Linda is a clinical psychologist; he and Linda are parents of three wonderful adult daughters and have two even-more-wonderful grandchildren. Dave is the fourth of eleven children and grew up in a small Indiana town. He is a cyclist and a life-long Packer fan.
Members of the President's Cabinet
- Peggy Eshleman
Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees
Peggy began her employment with Sauk in 2011, and has been an Assistant to Recruiting, Human Resources Assistant, Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Academics & Student Services, and most recently Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees.
Peggy grew up in the Sauk Valley, and is a graduate of Sauk Valley Community College. Prior to coming to Sauk, Peggy worked as a Legal Assistant in the area for several years.Peggy is active in her church, enjoys walking, exercise classes, and volunteering for "Sauk Serves". She resides in Rock Falls with her husband, Dennis.
- Aaron Roe
Director of Research and Planning
Aaron joined the Sauk team in May 2022 as Director of Research and Planning.
Prior to joining Sauk, he was Assistant Director of Research and Planning for Moraine Valley Community College for five years, but has worked in Institutional Research for a total of nine. Aaron received both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from North Central College in Naperville.
Aaron grew up in the area, graduating from Byron High School. Aaron lives in Oregon with his wife Caroline, two children, Ryder and Robyn, two dogs, and a cat. Aaron’s hobbies include running (which he does to train for marathons), enjoying time playing with his kids, and traveling.
- Dr. Lori Cortez
Dean of Institutional Advancement
In 2014, Lori was welcomed to SVCC as the Director of TRIO Student Support Services. Lori now serves as the leader for the Foundation, Marketing, Impact, and the Small Business Development Center teams. Lori has led SVCC teams in securing two TRIO SSS grants ($2.9 million), Title III grant ($1.9 million), and the Foundation’s first $1 million donation.
Lori’s tenure in community colleges began as a student at Delta College, where she earned her associate's degree. She earned her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ed.D. from Central Michigan University.
Lori has taught at Mid Michigan College since 2008.
Lori serves the Sauk Valley community through multiple organizations including the Twin Cities Rotary (past president), Whiteside County Senior Center (past president), YWCA of the Sauk Valley, Open Sesame, Whiteside County Soil and Water Conservation, and the Rock Falls Industrial Development Committee.
- Kathy Dirks
Dean of Information Technology
Kathy has been a member of the Sauk family since 2003 and is a proud Sauk Valley Community College Alumna. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford University. Kathy serves on the Sauk Valley Community Leadership Program Board, is a Rock Falls Chamber Ambassador, and is a board member and active volunteer at Sterling First Church of the Nazarene. She and her husband have one son, Charlie. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys spending time with her family, learning, and teaching about natural health solutions, and traveling.
- Dr. Jon Mandrell
Vice President of Academics and Student Services
Dr. Jon Mandrell serves as the Vice President of Academics and Student Services at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Illinois, where he is the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) and Chief Student Services Officer (CSSO). In this role, he provides leadership to the college’s academic departments and Student Services. His previous roles include serving as the Dean of Instructional Services and also as a Criminal Justice faculty member at Sauk Valley. Prior to his community college career, he served as a police officer in Oregon, Illinois. He holds an Ed.D. in Community College Leadership from Ferris State University and a Master of Arts degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western Illinois University.
- Kathryn Snow
Director of Human Resources
Kathryn Snow began her employment in 2004 as the Director of Human Resources. She is a member of the Dixon Kiwanis.
Prior to coming to SVCC, Kathryn worked for 16 years as a human resource professional in the not-for-profit and private industries.
Kathryn is a graduate of Black Hawk East Community College with an A.A.S. and A.A. degree, and Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Business.
- Kent Sorenson
Vice President of Business Services
Kent joined the Sauk team in 2019. In his role as Vice President of Business Services and Board Treasurer, he provides leadership over the College's fiscal operations, including coordination of the College's annual budget, financial reporting, purchasing, cash management, grant reporting and compliance, and financial risk management. Kent grew up in the Sauk Valley, obtained a Master of Accountancy from Northern Illinois University, and has been a CPA in Illinois since 2012. Kent is a member of the Illinois CPA Society's Governmental Executive Committee and enjoys coaching his daughter's youth soccer team.
- Rich Groleau
Director of Facilities
Rich joined the Sauk team in June 2020 as Director of Facilities and Grounds.
Prior to joining Sauk, he was Director of Maintenance for Upper Iowa University Fayette IA.
Rich grew up in the Sauk Valley, graduated from Newman Central Catholic High School, and attended Sauk Valley College after graduation. Rich lives in Prophetstown with his wife Kelli, and has two adult daughters.