Several outstanding North Idaho College staff and faculty members were honored with achievement awards during the annual NIC Employee Awards Breakfast May 11.
Carpentry Instructor David McRae earned the top Faculty Achievement Award of the presented to the NIC faculty.
“I plan to spend the remainder of my working life in the fortunate position of being able to use both my skills and passion for carpentry and my experience as an educator every day, share it all with a continuing stream of willing students,” McRae said.
McRae has been teaching carpentry at NIC since 1996. Before that, he worked in a wide range of construction fields from commercial to residential. He has a bachelor’s degree in education and psychology, a master’s degree in vocational education, and an advanced state teaching certificate in vocational education.
McRae is a certified “green” builder, which he applies when teaching his students how to build environmentally-friendly projects such as the NIC Really BIG Raffle house every year.
“Ethics in work and in life is probably the biggest thing I try to teach. I use carpentry as the platform for teaching this. I strive to nullify the image of a shifty contractor who shows up sporadically and does poor work. I hope my students find a happy life building things, but if they change directions, I encourage that also,” McRae said.
NIC English/Humanities Instructor Bob Bennett also received one of the three faculty achievement awards. Bennett has taught at NIC for 12 out of his 20 years of teaching total. He is also the administrator of the Writing Center, which he has turned into an invaluable resource for faculty, students and community members.
“I am proud of the work I have done as a teacher and the impact I have made as coordinator of the Writing Center,” Bennett said. “At the end of the day, I am often still as exhausted as I was back in 1985 when I first began as a student teacher, but despite the hard work and grading of papers on nights and weekends, I would not change the path I have been down.”
Math Instructor John Klassen was also honored with the NIC Faculty Achievement Award. Klassen has worked at NIC since 1994, where he teaches everything from PTE mathematics for welding and auto diesel to academic college mathematics courses.
“John Klassen is an exceptional instructor,” said Business Instructor Don Schoesler in his nomination. “His philosophy ‘anyone can do math’ is not only something he believes in, but he practices. Students literally line up outside his office on a daily basis to receive individual help from him.”
Klassen developed all of the professional technical mathematics courses currently in use in collaboration with the individual technology instructors and is currently working with Lakeland High School to develop an alternative technical math course for their seniors that would allow them to test out of PTE math when enrolled at NIC. Staff members were also honored for their service to NIC.
Dean of Students Linda Michal received the Outstanding Service to the College Community Award. Information and Metrics Analyst Suzie Deane earned the Staff Excellence Award and eLearning and Outreach Systems Administrator Jimmie O’Harra earned the Rising Star Award.
Employees were also recognized with Length of Service Awards.
40-Year Award: Margaret Fedje, Health Professions and Nursing.
25-Year Awards: Bill Cleavinger, Information Technology; Tom Lyons, eLearning and Outreach; Dale Marcy, Natural Sciences; Bob Thomson, Security and Emergency Services.
20-Year Awards: Doug Anderson, Trades and Industry; Brian Coons, Trades and Industry; Rhena Cooper, Natural Sciences; David Cunnington, Natural Sciences; Sarah Johnson, Center for New Directions.
15-Year Awards: Pat Whitcomb, Athletics; Don Don Williams, Athletics.
10-Year Awards: Shannon Badgett, Health Professions and Nursing; Paul Chivvis, Physical Education, Dance, and Resort/Recreation Management; Carl Curtis, English and Modern Languages; James DeMoss, Molstead Library; Donna Fuller, Children’s Center; Michael Horswill, Communication, Fine Arts, and Humanities; Stacy Hudson, Communications and Marketing; David Lee, Adult Basic Education; Jared Phay, Athletics; Stacy Rhoades, Admissions; Sue Schuh, Professional Technical Education; Becky Shaffer, Student Support Services (TRIO); Steve Tudor, Mail/Copy Center Services; Philippe Valle, Communication, Fine Arts, and Humanities; Keira Yetter, Children’s Center.
Five-Year Awards: Dale Arrington, Natural Sciences; Richard Bayles, Custodial Services; Priscilla Bell, Office of the President; Michael Bennett, Trades and Industry; Paul Brasil, Social and Behavioral Sciences; Mandee Brown, Admissions; Heather Butler, Communications and Marketing; Audrey Cameron, English and Modern Languages; Anthony Christensen, Trades and Industry; Paula Czirr, Residence Hall; Jesse Davison, Information Technology; Keith Dionne, Trades and Industry; Jeremy Dodge, Trades and Industry; Amy Flint, English and Modern Languages; Mary Jule Gabiou, Math, Computer Science, and Engineering; Carrie Gibson, Math, Computer Science, and Engineering; Robert Gibson, Information Technology; Yvonne Hallock, Natural Sciences; Lynn Harrison, eLearning and Outreach; Mary “Kami” Jenks, Information Technology; Edward Kaitz, Social and Behavioral Sciences; Michelle Lippert, Social and Behavioral Sciences; Bill McElver, Physical Plant; Derinda Moerer, Communication, Fine Arts, and Humanities; Erin Norvell, Human Resources; Christopher Pfeiffer, Communications and Marketing; Marie Price, Workforce Training and Community Education; Lonnie Raaum, Trades and Industry; Jacob Rothrock, Outdoor Pursuits; Cathleen Sanborn, Tech Prep; Catherine Sargent, Custodial Services; Linda Schaefer, Student Support Services (TRIO); Evelyn Scrabeck, Custodial Services; Sherry Simkins, Communication, Fine Arts, and Humanities; Tim Straw, Trades and Industry; Faith Valente, Communication, Fine Arts, and Humanities; Nichole Piekarski, Health Professions and Nursing.
The awards are sponsored by the NIC Foundation and STCU.
Faculty Awards 2011—Several North Idaho College faculty members were presented achievement awards, sponsored by STCU, during the commencement day breakfast for employees of NIC. Pictured, from left, are Brad Hunter of STCU, NIC President Priscilla Bell, Foundation President-elect John Young, Trustee Mic Armon, English/Humanities Instructor Bob Bennett, Carpentry Instructor David McRae and Math Instructor John Klassen.
Staff Awards 2011— The 2011 North Idaho College staff achievement awards, sponsored by STCU, were presented during the annual commencement breakfast at NIC. Pictured, from left, are NIC President Priscilla Bell, Foundation President-elect John Young, Dean of Students Linda Michal, Trustee Mic Armon, Information and Metrics Analyst Suzie Deane and Brad Hunter of STCU.