More than 100 years of service recognized


Garden City Community College is paying tribute to more than a century of service as it honored six employees who are retiring at the end of the academic year during a reception held recently in the Endowment Room of the Beth Tedrow Student Center. In addition to Kay Davis, featured in the article above, those retiring include:

Garden City Community College is paying tribute to more than a century of service as it honored six employees who are retiring at the end of the academic year during a reception held recently in the Endowment Room of the Beth Tedrow Student Center. In addition to Kay Davis, featured in the article above, those retiring include:

Sandy Hawley

Hawley's employment with GCCC began in 1996 as the part-time evening switchboard operator.

Dr. Gary Jarmer, Dean of Technical Education, eventually recruited Sandy to work as his administrative assistant in 1997. As Jarmer's assistant, Sandy provided support to the technical programs, including agriculture, automotive, ammonia refrigeration, cosmetology, criminal justice, industrial maintenance, John Deere, nursing and woodworking. Sandy was eventually promoted to Customized Training Coordinator for the Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration program in 1998, which became the first hands-on Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration training facility in the United States.

Sandy says GCCC's greatest asset is its dedicated faculty and staff, whom she will miss.

Sandy's last working day will be July 31 and her plans are indefinite. She says she looks forward to spending more time with her husband Neil, their 4 sons and spouses, and their 5 wonderful grandchildren as well as other family and friends.

Carol Heinemann

Heinemann began working at GCCC in 1989 as a part-time library assistant and switched to full-time a few years later.¬ She obtained her bachelor's degree from Friends University while working at the college and attended KPlace, a three-year library school program at Emporia State University. She was the Newman Club (catholic student organization) adviser from 1998 to 2012 and accompanied students to annual conventions in Topeka, Wichita and Hays.¬ "My favorite part of working in Saffell Library has been helping students with research and also helping students, staff and community patrons obtain other sources through interlibrary loan," said Heinemann.¬  While employed at GCCC, she has worked for three presidents, three library directors and has been active on many committees.¬ 

After a 25-year career, Heinemann's plans for retirement include traveling and spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren.

Carolyn Klassen

Klassen, a Garden City native, started as a full-time piano instructor in 1986 at GCCC. She earned a bachelor's in music education from Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas and a master's of music theory from Emporia State University.

Klassen has served as accompanist for the college's theater productions and musical concerts many times, and was instrumental in developing several highly distinguished programs for the music department.

In the early 90's, Klassen was intrigued with the evolution of technology in the music world and developed a state-of-the-art technical piano lab at the college. The Finnup foundation granted $63,000 to start the lab in 1993. "To this day, the Finnup Piano Lab rivals that of most large universities and has become quite a draw to music majors nationwide," Klassen said.

In 1995, Klassen met Frank Mantooth, jazz pianist, arranger, composer and 11-time Grammy Award nominee, while at a conference in Hutchinson. She convinced him to come to GCCC for a one-semester residency, but it became an eight-year stint after he met his wife in Garden City.

Klassen says the best part about her time at GCCC is definitely the students. Upon retirement, Klassen plans to continue teaching private lessons and spend time on the family farm with her devoted husband of 49 years.

Janice Nunn

Janice is retiring after a 22-year career at the college. She began working at GCCC as Campus Health Nurse in August 1992. During her tenure, Janice has played a vital role in the health and safety of the entire college family through her dedication to the Student Health Office. In 1993, new OSHA requirements resulted in the origination and implementation of the Bloodborne Pathogens Plan at GCCC. In 1994, the office instituted mandatory policies for Residential Life Immunizations and Health Records.¬ Kansas State Law regarding mandatory meningitis vaccination of on campus residents was implemented in 2004, followed by required assessments for tuberculosis.¬ ¬ Janice graduated with an Associate Degree in Nursing from GCCC in 1985 and a Bachelor in Nursing from Newman University in 1999. Prior to joining the college, she worked at St. Catherine Hospital as a registered nurse on the Psychiatric Unit, was the office nurse at Garden Medical Clinic, and a school nurse in Deerfield.

After retiring, Janice plans to rest, enjoy time with family, hobbies and volunteering, and travel with her husband.

Ron Smith

Smith worked as a campus security officer for 15 years and retired last June. Originally from Garden City, Smith's first career was with his family's business, Smith Sand Co. He later went to work as a deputy jailor for the Finney County Sheriff's department prior to joining GCCC in 1998.

Smith says the most rewarding part of his time at the college was meeting and talking with the students. "I treated every student the same," says Smith, "with dignity and respect, regardless of what they looked like or where they came from. They all had a story to tell, and I was there to listen and hopefully guide them down the right path. If I saw a student going off course, I would get them back on track. Some of the kids were far from home and just needed someone to talk to."

Since retiring Smith has developed his talent as an artist and creates New Mexican art pieces using turquoise and abalone shells. His work has been featured in exhibits at GCCC's Mercer gallery as well as other local and regional venues.

Smith also enjoys spending time with his wife Pat and visiting his children and grandchildren in Wichita and Phoenix.

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