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WJBD - Local News - Kaskaskia College Hands Out Number of Awards At Awards and Retirement Dinner

Kaskaskia College President Dr. Jim Underwood presents the Distinguished Service Award to Jerry Rakers.

BCMW Executive Director Keith Brown and BCMW's Sue Castleman accept the Business and Industry Partnership Award from Kaskaskia College's Art Borum.

Sandoval School officials Stephanie Thomas Christine Hollenkamp, and Melanie Brink accept the Education Partnership Award from KC Dean Kelly Henegar

Kaskaskia College Hands Out Number of Awards At Awards and Retirement Dinner

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

A Breese man who helped in the formation of the Kaskaskia College District and has remained involved ever sense has received the college's Distinguished Service Award.  It was one of many 

Kaskaskia College President Dr. James Underwood presented Jerry Rakers of Breese with the award at the college's annual awards and retirement dinner.  "His vision and the wisdom of he and many others at that time I totally respect them for what they did to create this institution.  Over many years he served as a director of the Kaskaskia College Foundation, which is formed to support the college.  He now holds the title of director emeritus.  It was through his  work in support of the early development of the main campus that has resulted in the campus we have today," said Underwood.  He added the Rakers family has donated money for construction of the clock tower on the main campus as well as providing numerous scholarships.

In accepting the award, Rakers said he had no speech, but told the crowd, "thank you, thank you, thank you".    

The Social Service Agency BCMW was presented the college's Business and Industry Partnership Award.  In accepting the award, BCMW Executive Director Keith Brown thanked the college for the training they provide to employees to complete weatherization projects at homes throughout Marion, Bond, Clinton and Washington Counties.

"I'm not bragging on our agency, because it is the employees who do the work.   Because of the assistance that we have gotten from the college, you can anybody in the state of Illinois, we run one of the best weatherization programs in the state of Illinois.  Everybody in this state from St. Clair to Madison County to Danville, Illinois to Galesburg has been calling us to come in and get their work done for them because they just can't get it done.  And we couldn't have gotten it done without the college so thank you," said Brown.  

Sandoval School District received the Educational Partnership Award.  Sandoval has worked with the college through the Dual Credit program and College Now which offers students more opportunities in the career and technical education field.  Sandoval has also been an active participant in the KC Initiative on College Readiness.  The college has also worked with Sandoval High School as a community partner in their federal school improvement grant.  

Sandoval Grade School Principal Melanie Brink accepted the award on behalf of the district.  "We all know that raising a child takes more than a school, it takes an entire community.  We want to thank you for the support, guidance, and help in giving our children a strong opportunity for a successful future.  Together with a partnership with Kaskaskia College we can all make a difference," said Brink.   

1982 graduate Dr. Angela Holbrook was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.  She is a Medical Director and practices emergency medicine in the St. Louis area as well as owns and operates Hidden Lakes Winery.  Holbrook has also assisted the college with fund raising for the Trenton campus.   

Several staff members were also honored.  Stephanie Klie was named the Horizon Award winner for an outstanding first year faculty member. Margo Guetersloh was awarded the full-time staff member of the year for having a great attitude and always putting students first as an Administrative Assistant for the nursing department. Doug Skort was awarded the part-time faculty member of the year for his organization, dedication and excellencein the classroom.   Josh Woods was given the Outstanding Faculty Award for his passion in the classrom, development of the transitional studies program and his work with Title III in establishing learning communities and the Teachership Academy.  

Lori Schmidt received the Faculty Assessment Award for her work in completing a detailed assessment of student learning in her program that centers on clearly stated, ambition learning outcomes.  Phyllis Harmening was presented the Community Education Award for her work in the Reading Link Program.  Candace Sloat was named part-time staff member of the year for her positive attitude and willingness to assist fellow staff members and students.  Angenien Huffstutler and Mimi Polczynski received the Technology Excellence Awards.    

Outgoing student trustee Zach McGeehon received the Gigi Campbell Student Trustee Excellence Award and Petra Elbert the Kaskaskia College Paul Simon Student Essay Award.    

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