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Northeast employees honored; others acknowledged for years of service

Northeast employees honored; others acknowledged for years of service

NORFOLK, Neb. -- Three Northeast Community College faculty and staff members were recognized with awards from US Bank during the college’s spring semester in-service on Thursday, Jan. 4. Another former adjunct instructor was honored posthumously.

The US Bank Great Performer Awards annually honor Northeast employees who have been nominated by their peers for their outstanding contributions to the college. The awards have been presented by the bank, or its predecessor institutions, since 1993.

The nomination for Aaron Kinnan, former adjunct building construction instructor at the O’Neill campus, stated in part, “They say those who know, do. And those who understand, teach.”

Leah Barrett, Northeast president, read from the nominations, noting that Kinnan took the time to provide relevant teaching experience. He passed away unexpectedly from an underlying health condition.  
Kinnan also had the flexibility to adjust to students’ learning styles. Kinnan provided students with a basic knowledge of carpentry in classroom theory and applied skills with on-the-job construction projects. 
“When not in the classroom, Aaron repeatedly offered his personal time to help his peers and to always put his best foot forward,” Barrett said. “Many times, he went out of his way to arrange transportation for students in his peers’ classes to be able to take tours of local businesses. Additionally, he spent his own time making sure that students had the proper equipment, materials, and projects to make for the best student experience possible.”
Jennifer, Kinnan’s wife, accepted the award on his behalf. Also attending were the couple’s children: Owen, 12; Asher, 9; and Ella, 1.

Other honorees and their awards were Cara Hoehne, business instructor (Full-time Faculty); Makala Maple, registrar (Professional Managerial); and Analia Dorado, custodian (Classified Staff).

Hoehne’s nomination included seven students who noted her passion and love of teaching.

“One of the great things about honoring US Bank Great Performers is the list of accomplishments and outstanding attributes they possess. That certainly was the case for (Hoehne), who had one of the most robust nominations of all we received this year,” Barrett said.

Hoehne is known for her initiatives. She was instrumental in introducing CliftonStrengths to the Northeast Campus. Her commitment to personal and professional development pushed her to become a CliftonStrengths-trained coach. It resulted in 41 Northeast faculty and staff taking part, which highlights a significant interest at Northeast in the strengths-based approach to identify and leverage individuals’ unique strengths and talents.

Hoehne was the co-creator of the Investing in Strengths course, which is now a required class for all Northeast Business, Accounting, Administrative Professional and HIMS students. 

She is involved in international education at Northeast and has led students to England and Denmark. One of her more impressive accomplishments is the successful collaboration with Aarhus Business College in Aarhus, Denmark. She was the driving force behind the partnership and teacher exchange with Denmark. This spring, she will be attending the Spring Symposium and Site Visit in Ireland. 

In her role as the FBLA – Collegiate adviser, she works with students to execute community service projects, achieve fundraising goals, and attend networking conferences and competitive events. Several of the students who wrote provided examples of Hoehne’s concern for her students or shared stories of how she personally inspired them.

Maple’s nomination noted her dedication to Northeast and students. She has a vast wealth of knowledge that she utilizes daily to keep everything running smoothly.  Her knowledge is immense about Banner, Cognos, Degree Works, My Northeast, and all the other systems that are a crucial part of the everyday processes at Northeast. 

Barrett said Maple’s easy-going attitude and ability to adapt quickly when circumstances change makes her stand out. 

“Overseeing the Admissions and Registration Office and all that encompasses is a full-time job, but she handles everything that comes her way with poise and grace,” Barrett said. “At the beginning of December, she was also asked to oversee the Testing and Global Opportunities offices and did so without breaking stride. She never makes you feel as though your question is unimportant.”

Concern for Northeast and its employees was also mentioned in the nomination of Dorado, who also went above and beyond in her job as a custodian last October.

Ihe email noted that an office in a building had a leak that required some attention -- from not only physical plant and maintenance, but also the custodial staff. On the day, Dorado was quick to help the office person with finding a quiet and private space to work. Since she was familiar with the building and office spaces, Dorado suggested using a vacant office.  
Dorado was very calm and helped with getting situated in the temporary office space.  Throughout the days working in the temporary office space, she continued to keep everyone updated on what was happening in the office with the leak and when the cleanup may be done. She went above and beyond and cleaned up several areas where there were personal items on the cabinet in the office.
“This person truly cares about the work she does,” Barrett said. “She may be an individual who is soft spoken and quiet, but she communicated effectively and continued to share updates and ideas. She has a friendly smile and works to achieve the best job. She is an example of living out the mission, vision and values of Northeast Community College.”

In addition to the US Bank Awards, milestones were noted by employees for their commitment to the college.

Employees recognized were:

35 Years
Paul Bailey.

30 Years
Judy Schindler.

25 Years
Beth Welke, Mike Roeber, Terry Jones, Michaela Brauer, Tony Beardslee.

20 Years
Kyle Voecks, Amy Ries.

15 Years
Roger Walker, Wendy Swenson, Terry Nelson, John Nelson, Brandon Maly, Renee Krusemark, Cara Hoehne, Kory Hildebrand, Tina Bredehoeft, Trevor Bailey, Mike Anson.

10 Years
Laura Schwanebeck, Jennifer Scheer, Gregg Reikofski, Brad Ranslem, Holly Quinn, Sarah Oligmueller, Bob Noonan, Jim McCarville, Erin Kucera, Travis Kaup, Wade Herley, Joni Cassidy, Chris Burbach, David Boschen.

5 Years
Kassie Wessendorf, Tara Schilling, JJ Schafer, Erika Rupprecht, Carol Rodenborg, Brian Rastede, Albert Ponder, Jerrett Mills, Doug Lange, Lindsey Konopasek, Natalie Kent, Gretchen Hupp, Gina Holtz, Jeff Hoffman, Jill Heemstra, Jan Good, Jody Gibson, Bill Eby, Stefanie Dvorak, Terrill Cook, David Cone.
To view this article on the website, Northeast employees honored; others acknowledged for years of service | News | Northeast Community College, Nebraska
US Bank Award winners cutline
Northeast employees were honored Thursday, (from left) Makala Maple, Cara Hoehne, Analia Dorado and Jennifer Kinnan, who accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, Aaron, who was honored posthumously. (Northeast Community College)

US Bank Award winners cutline
Northeast employees were honored Thursday, (from left) Makala Maple, Cara Hoehne, Analia Dorado and Jennifer Kinnan, who accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, Aaron, who was honored posthumously. She is shown with their children, holding Ella, 1; and (front) Asher, 9; and Owen, 12. (Northeast Community College)