Junior DeLay, a political science instructor at the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center (SAHEC), brings real-world experience to the classroom. DeLay is currently serving his 23rd year as the Mississippi County Clerk while teaching an introductory political science course at SAHEC.
As county clerk, DeLay says he oversees the daily operations of the county government. His responsibilities include various administrative and financial functions for the county, ranging from the budget and accounting officer to the administrator of numerous federal and state grant programs.
“I have always equated the position of county clerk with that of a city or county manager or a school superintendent,” DeLay said. “I just don’t have much of the actual authority granted to those positions.”
DeLay’s decision to go into teaching stems from his connection with the local school system. He has served on the Charleston R-1 School District Board of Education for the past 10 years in addition to serving as a substitute teacher for local schools.
As an alumnus of Southeast Missouri State University, DeLay says he stays informed on current issues concerning the University, including SAHEC. When DeLay decided he wanted to teach at the post-secondary level, he contacted the Department of Political Science at Southeast to express his interest. He was later contacted by the University when the opportunity to teach at SAHEC arose.
“With my extensive background as a local government official, in addition to my education background through Southeast, I felt I could offer a unique perspective to students,” DeLay explained.
DeLay is currently teaching his first political science course to SAHEC students titled “U.S. Political Systems.” He says his position as county clerk offers students first-hand experiences in working with both federal and state governments and their numerous departments and agencies. DeLay uses his position as a means to connect the material in the textbook with the events taking place in daily governmental operations.
“Mr. DeLay brings ‘real world’ experience into the classroom and has a great way of merging the textbook with everyday events,” said Cindy Hulshof, a SAHEC student enrolled in DeLay’s course. “We appreciate Southeast supporting SAHEC by providing an instructor who offers ‘real world’ learning experiences.”
DeLay says SAHEC has contributed tremendously to the Sikeston community because it offers a University presence and stimulates the local business and educational community.
“SAHEC has allowed the area to become more involved in the higher education aspect of the overall educational opportunity provided for area students,” DeLay said. “The partnership between Southeast and SAHEC has proven very beneficial for both the University and the Sikeston area. I’m thrilled to be contributing to the missions of both by working at SAHEC.”