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NWCCD announces WACCT Leadership award nominees

(Sheridan, Wyo.) — The Northern Wyoming Community College District has announced its nominees for the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustee Leadership awards. The NWCCD, which consists of Sheridan College, Sheridan College in Johnson County and Gillette College, will send six people who were nominated by their peers to this year’s WACCT Conference, which will be held in Cheyenne Feb. 18. One winner in each category is chosen at the state level. Awards will be presented during the conference. Faculty and staff were asked to nominate who they thought gave exemplary efforts in showing support for the goals and overall mission of the NWCCD in the following categories: Student, Classified Employee, Professional Employee, Faculty Member, Trustee Leadership, and Foundation Volunteer. Criteria for the awards are different for each category, but all the involve awardees’ excellence in their chosen area, contributions to their community college, service in the community, innovative change, and improvement of the college. The nominees include Kati Sherwood, trustee; Elaine Pridgeon, classified employee; Zane Garstad, professional employee; Gaylene Spence, student; Troy Miller, faculty; and John Merrill, foundation volunteer. [image: Inline image 1] *Kati Sherwood, h/t NWCCD / Pitchengine Communities* Kati Sherwood is this year’s nominee for Trustee of the Year. “Kati…transformed how the board works within itself, with the president, and with the community,” her nomination packet explained. [image: Inline image 2] *Elaine Pridgeon, h/t NWCCD / Pitchengine Communities* Elaine Pridgeon, Administrative Coordinator for the Gillette College and Sheridan College Nursing programs, is the nominee for Classified Employee of the Year. As her nomination packet notes, “[Elaine] demonstrates time and again incredible competency in her job. She makes students her number one priority and makes herself available to meet their needs. She is their cheerleader and wants nothing more than to see them succeed.” [image: Inline image 4] *Zane Garstad, h/t NWCCD / Pitchengine Communities* Zane Garstad, Director of College Services for the NWCCD, is the nominee for Professional Employee of the Year. “Zane is a man of integrity and conviction,” his nomination packet said. “He firmly adheres to a philosophy of respecting and valuing all people, with a lead-from-behind management style. Zane is a leader among his peers, regularly participating on college committees.” [image: Inline image 5] *Gaylene Spence, h/t NWCCD / Pitchengine Communities* Gillette College education and business student Gaylene Spence is the Student of the Year nominee. “Gaylene is a glowing example of persevering despite personal set-backs. She has never given up on her dream of earning a college degree, even though it has taken her decades to reach her goal,” according to his nomination packet. “Gaylene truly embodies the exemplary student, from her campus involvement to her dedication to her studies; from her excellent grades to her extraordinary perseverance. Her commitment to excellence is demonstrated by her 4.0 GPA.” [image: Inline image 6] *John Merrill, h/t NWCCD / Pitchengine Communities* John Merrill is the nominee for Foundation Volunteer of the Year. “John Merrill is an extraordinary man, a patient educator, and an outstanding volunteer,” his nomination packet said. “His understated and quiet manner belies the tremendous contribution he has made to the restoration and preservation efforts of the NWCCD “high camp” located in the Bighorn Mountains; our understanding of early 20th Century construction techniques; and teaching our staff, faculty, students, and volunteers how to take care of this awesome site.” [image: Inline image 7] *Troy Miller, h/t NWCCD / Pitchengine Communities* Troy Miller, Gillette College welding faculty, is the nominee for Faculty of the Year. According to his nomination packet, Troy “has leveraged his knowledge and experience to work in conjunction with industry partners to build the program at Gillette College into one that meets their needs, while at the same time offering a very well-rounded welding education to our students. Troy establishes and builds lasting relationships with his students, and is well respected because of his patient teaching style and calm demeanor.” *Feature photo Pitchengine Communities* #dally #county17 #news