Not many individuals can claim they were a student, athlete, coach and director at Highline College, but Jason Prenovost, the current Athletic Director of Tacoma Community College, can.
Prenovost’s “outstanding leadership and tireless efforts” in serving student-athletes from both Highline College and Tacoma Community College are just a few of the reasons Highline selected the Lake Tapps resident as its 2022 Distinguished Alumnus.
As part of the award, Prenovost will be honored during Highline’s Virtual Commencement ceremony on June 16.
“I had the pleasure of working directly with Jason for a number of years, and he always shared his pride for being both an alumnus of the college and an employee,” said Mt. Hood Community College President Lisa Skari, former Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Highline College. “Through his roles in outreach, marketing and coaching, he has engaged the youth of our community, giving many first-generation students a path to higher education.”
Prenovost began his current role at Tacoma in 2014 after spending 20 years at Highline College. While at Highline, he started as the men’s soccer coach in 1994 and would retain that role until he left in 2014. A testament to his coaching skills, he became the “all-time winningest men’s soccer coach in the history of the Northwest Athletic Conference” in 2012. In 1998, Prenovost was hired as the director of Outreach Services and acted as interim registrar for six months during that time. Prenovost then went on to become director of Communications and Marketing from 2007 to 2014 where he managed a six-figure annual promotional budget and led the institutional discussion on branding and positioning while developing the policies on visual identity usage.
Before he began working at Highline, he studied and played soccer at the college in the late 1980s.
“I was taught and mentored by numerous faculty and staff at this college who just cared,” Prenovost recalled. “As a student, I was insecure about my writing. Susan Landgraf took time with me to not only help me believe I could write but believe I could paint pictures with words and bring to life ideas that were inside of me.”
Growing up in Federal Way, Prenovost said Highline was a huge part of his own educational experience as well as that of his family.
“One of my earliest memories was my mom telling me my dad wasn’t home because he was taking night classes at Highline Community College,” he said. “We would sometimes go to basketball games and wait for him to get out of class. When my sister and I were both in school, my mom went back to college at Highline and we would do our homework together at night. When my plans after high school changed, I enrolled at Highline and became a college student.”
“I believe in what the community college provides and the change it can create,” Prenovost added. “I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience Highline as a student and a staff. Each unique and each rewarding.”
After earning his associate degree at Highline, Prenovost attended Hawai’i Pacific University, playing soccer on scholarship and earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international business. He then went on to receive his master’s degree in organizational leadership with a graduate certificate in human resources from Chapman University in 2001.
Now, the athletic director at Tacoma Community College, Prenovost’s dedication to soccer, student-athletes and coaching has been among his greatest accomplishments. While at Tacoma, he was the men’s soccer coach for two years, which led to two Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) championships for a total of three championships, seven regional championships, two NWAC Coach of the Year awards and eight Divisional Coach of the Year awards.
“What truly matters to Jason has been the cornerstone of all the accomplishments and roles: his ability to shape young athletes of many ages into young men that their parents, families, schools, friends, and communities can be proud of,” said John Dunn, Highline College’s athletic director. “Jason has always known that holding these young men accountable for their actions both on and off the field of play will ultimately draw tremendous rewards, and it is that quality, amongst others, that has set him apart.”
Prenovost is the 34th recipient of Highline’s annual award, the most prestigious award given to alumni.
Former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, who attended Highline from 1968-69, was the first recipient of the award in 1990. Other distinguished alumni include Sandra Cravens Robinson, nurse and Army veteran; Ezra Teshome, an agent with State Farm Insurance and TIME magazine global health hero; and award-winning author Linda Yoshida and entrepreneur Junki Yoshida.