Kathleen Plinske serves as Executive Vice President and Provost and as Campus President of the Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. Prior to joining Valencia in 2010, Plinske began her career at McHenry County College, a community college in her hometown of Crystal Lake, Illinois. She was hired as an Instructional Media Specialist in 2001, and moved into a number of different roles over the next nine years, including Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, and ultimately, Interim President.
A graduate of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Plinske attended Indiana University-Bloomington as a Herman B Wells Scholar, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Physics with highest distinction and honors. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she completed a Master of Arts in Spanish from Roosevelt University, a Doctorate in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida. Plinske has continued her studies of Spanish language and culture at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, México, at the Don Quijote Escuela de Español in Granada, España, at Middlebury Language Schools in Middlebury, Vermont, and through her travels to Ecuador, México, Perú, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
Actively involved in her community, Plinske has served as Board Chair of the Education Foundation of Osceola County and as President of the Rotary Club of Lake Nona. She has also served on the Board of CareerSource Central Florida, the Osceola Center for the Arts, Junior Achievement of Osceola County, and the Lake Nona Education Council. She has taught the honors leadership course for Valencia College and graduate courses in educational leadership for the University of Central Florida and Pepperdine University.
In 2010, Plinske was recognized as one of 24 emerging leaders in the world by Phi Delta Kappa. She was named 2012 Woman of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal in its 40 Under 40 competition and the 2012 Outstanding Young Alumna by Indiana University. She received the 2013 Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and in 2014 received the Compadre Award from the Hispanic Business Council of the Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce and the Don Quijote Hispanic Community Champion Award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. Plinske was selected as an Aspen Presidential Fellow in 2016, was selected as Pepperdine University's Distinguished Alumna in 2017, and has been recognized by the University of Florida as an outstanding young alumna.
Plinske is happily married to her husband, Larry W. Tyree, who shares her love for golf, the Chicago Cubs, and their dog, Cooper.