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MCC employees honored for teaching excellence and senior service by Missouri Community College Association

November 13, 2020
By Tim Engle

Nine Metropolitan Community College employees were honored Nov. 13 at the Missouri Community College Association's annual convention, which was a virtual event this year. Congratulations to …

 Metropolitan Community College employees were honored Nov. 13 at the Missouri Community College Association's annual convention

(Top row, from left)

Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

Angela Bahner
Psychology instructor, MCC-Longview

"She teaches her subject area with passion and intellectual rigor and treats her students with respect and compassion," Bahner's colleague Eric Sullivan wrote in nominating her. "She seems to have a gift for making the class personal and accessible, and I've no doubt that she has several repeat students as a result of her pedagogy." She also co-leads Longview's Common Read program, and has led the campus' Faculty Association. Beyond all this, Sullivan says, Bahner "also seems to be ever-present on campus. Her dedication and energy are sincere and infectious."

Liz Santander Boettcher
Former interim director of health science and simulation, MCC-Penn Valley Health Science Institute

Boettcher, who retired last July, joined the College in 1995 as a pediatric nursing instructor. She is an "out-of-the-box thinker who always held her students to the highest standards in providing excellent patient care." In the classroom she was passionate about innovative, effective teaching practices such as simulation. She was named coordinator of the Virtual Hospital Simulation Center in 2012 and would secure accreditation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Boettcher served as the MCC grant manager for the KC HealthTracks grant in collaboration with UMKC and KC STEM Alliance, introducing high school students to hands-on experiences in health care.

Roger Claypool
Industrial technology instructor, MCC-Business & Technology

When Claypool arrived here, he brought with him a wealth of knowledge from the manufacturing world: He had worked for one of the largest makers of hydraulic and pneumatic lift equipment for the auto industry, as well as a patents and intellectual property investigator. Although he has been with MCC just eight years, Claypool has been teaching/training machine maintenance and repair for 26 years. While working in industry he saw the need for renewable energy and sustainability, so he is also MCC's go-to guy for photovoltaics. He has helped with National Science Foundation training and taken part in two major installations of solar systems; he's the instructor for MCC's solar offerings. 

Jennifer Rogers
Spanish instructor, MCC-Blue River

Rogers, who has taught Spanish at MCC for 20 years, enjoys discovering innovative and creative ways of utilizing technology to facilitate conversation. Her goal is for each student to fully understand the language "mentally, socially and culturally," colleague Cynthia Heddlesten wrote in nominating her. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Rogers spends more than 10 hours a day making sure her students have the same experience in virtual class as in face-to-face class. "Many teachers are finding ways to keep things simple or even cut back, (but) Jennifer is working crazy hours to create an online environment that is truly amazing," Heddlesten says. "She is such a gem to our students."

William Young
History instructor, MCC-Maple Woods

Colleagues say that in Young's 20 years at MCC, he has been integral in building not only the institution but also Maple Woods' social sciences and business division. He has served as division chair; developed history assessment measures; created and revised transfer agreements; created and led the campus' Honors Program; and played key roles in the Scholar Bowl and Brain Drain. In addition to hosting a national learning communities conference, Young has also co-created five Maple Woods learning communities over the years, including his most recent: the Concept of Leadership in Western Society. 

Senior Service Award

(Bottom row, from left)

Star Brouillette
Instructional coordinator, MCC-Business & Technology

Brouillette, who joined MCC as a senior secretary in 1999, has been in her current position since 2002. She works with faculty, division chairs and administrators to provide curriculum and program opportunities in career and technical education to Greater Kansas City residents. She is also known for her engagement with elementary schools, working with teachers to organize campaign drives — including Toys for Tots and Holiday Helpers — to support students and their families. Colleagues describe Brouillette as a very organized, friendly person with whom they enjoy working.

Victorie Edwards
Social sciences division chair, MCC-Penn Valley

Edwards has worked at MCC for 23 years in a variety of roles in instruction and student services, including recently as lead counselor at MCC-Blue River and Business & Technology. One major success was establishing relationships in the Latino and Muslim communities to increase the quality of early childhood education. Through her work with Project Success, Upward Bound and the Francis Institute, as well as serving as disability support services coordinator on four MCC campuses, Edwards gained understanding about how to support our students' academic success. Honors include induction into the Black Achievers Society of Greater Kansas City and receiving the Chancellor's Champions of Inclusion award.

Randy Kidd
Business instructor, MCC-Longview

"Every day I consider myself blessed to be a part of MCC and for the opportunity to work with young adults," says Kidd, now in his 31st year here. His roles have included serving as business discipline coordinator. Prior to joining the College, he founded and operated a personnel service in the Kansas City area. When he sold it, the company had two offices; these days it has six. Outside the classroom, Kidd can often be found in the early morning riding his mountain bike on one of many KC trails. Another extracurricular activity: playing with his three grandkids.

Lynnae Smith
English as a Second Language workforce coordinator, MCC-Penn Valley

Smith is a "problem-solver determined to find a way to move the program forward," her colleague Dan Fitzgerald says. She started at MCC in 1994 as part-time administrative assistant to the ESL director and advanced in 1998 to the full-time position of ESL continuing education coordinator. "Lynnae has created an environment where international students and immigrants feel welcome and well served," Fitzgerald says. "Many continue to return to her office for years after completing their English language classes, knowing that this is where they will find a friendly face, clear answers to their questions and someone who understands the struggles of navigating life at MCC and the community as a newcomer to this country."