Contributed
Andy Long, formerly of Grant, (right) shares a laugh with Mid-Plains Community College students where he serves as vice president of student affairs and McCook campus vice president. 

Where are they now? Andy Long

“There are just great people in Perkins County who really want the best for the people who live there,” said Grant native Andy Long, who has used his talents in various roles to teach and serve Nebraska youth and communities. 

Born and raised in Perkins County, Long is the son of John and Kris Long of Grant and a 1995 graduate of Grant High School.

“My mom said that Dr. Bottom saved my life when I was very sick shortly after being born,” Long said.

After graduation, Long left Perkins County to pursue an education at the University of Nebraska Lincoln where he received his bachelor’s degree. He also earned his master’s degree through UNL’s online program. 

After leaving Lincoln, he taught social studies and coached basketball for four years at South Platte High School in Big Springs and two years at Cozad High School.

After his years in teaching, Long worked for the Gallup Polls in Lincoln training research marketers.

Long and wife, Kerri, have been married for 14 years and have three children, Quincy, 10, Brooks, 6, and Willow, 10 months. 

“When my wife and I had our first child, we wanted to be closer to home,” Long said.

That was when he took a job as the director of admissions at Northwestern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, where he remained for five years.

Currently, Long resides in McCook, where he serves as the vice president of student affairs for Mid-Plains Community College and McCook campus vice president. 

In his role as vice president of student affairs, Long oversees all of the departments that help students outside of class including housing, judicial affairs, student success, libraries, advising, recruiting, financial aid, career services, adult education, disability services and certification testing.

As McCook Community College vice president he oversees day-to-day operations of the campus including athletics, safety, and community and regional partnerships.

He also leads a vice president’s leadership group that meets weekly to discuss leadership principles and hear guest speakers.

“This is my fifth class and I’m still looking for my first Perkins County High School graduate to attend and be a part of the program,” he said.

In addition to his roles on campus, Long serves the McCook community as a McCook Chamber of Commerce board member, McCook Economic Development Corporation board member and is part of the McCook Rotary Club. 

“Most of my free time is spent chasing my children,” Long said, who also dedicates time to coaching his children’s basketball, volleyball, soccer, t-ball and softball teams.

Long’s busy and active lifestyle began as a youth in Perkins County where he participated in multiple school-sanctioned activities.

“I was amazed at all the opportunities I had in school,” he said. “I lived at the school between school, athletics and extracurricular activities.”

Long attributes a great deal of his success to his opportunities and guidance while attending high school in Grant.

According to Long, college wasn’t that difficult thanks to what he learned in high school and the many teachers who taught him along the way.

“The skills I learned and practiced through speech and drama have probably been some of the most important skills I developed growing up to help me be successful,” he claimed. 

Long’s parents and brothers still live in Grant where they raise their families and remain involved in the community. He continues to enjoy his ties to Perkins County and the people here.

To those growing up in Perkins County, he offers the following advice:

“Appreciate what you have, get a chance to go away for a while, then find a way to move back to Southwest Nebraska.”

Long hopes to continue helping Nebraska’s youth receive a fantastic education and to continue working with all of Southwest Nebraska to promote community leadership and entrepreneurship. 

“You can also save a lot of money by attending your first two years of college at McCook Community College,” he added.

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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Grant NE 69140