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Highland Faculty and Staff Receive Excellence Awards

FREEPORT � Highland Community College employees have an opportunity each year to nominate their colleagues for an Excellence Award. The award recognizes employees for quality work, creativity, honesty, integrity, self-development and excellence in their working relationships. A committee made up of Excellence Award recipients from the previous two years selects the winners in each category: support staff, part-time faculty, full-time faculty and administrator. This year�s recipients include Communications Operator Teresa Fyock, Art Instructor Reed Bakken, Automotive Technology Instructor Jim Palmer, and User Services Librarian Michael Skwara. funny picture quotes

Teresa�s nomination recognized her strong commitment to customer service, and faculty and staff support. She has been referred to as the �voice of Highland� with her welcoming and encouraging manner as the College�s Communications Operator. She was recently presented with a certificate of recognition by College President Dr. Joe Kanosky for outstanding customer service as a result of feedback from high school counselors complimenting Teresa for being such an outstanding representative for HCC. funny pictures

Reed Bakken, a professional potter who operates a shop in Oregon, IL, has been teaching pottery classes at Highland for nearly 15 years. Students frequently comment on the high quality of his teaching. Reed�s nomination pointed out his strong commitment the students and aspiring potters in his classes. Each year, he creates a piece that is publicly presented to the HCC commencement speaker in May. funny images

Jim Palmer has been teaching Highland students since 2001. His nomination noted that Jim demonstrates a willingness to work with his students both inside and outside of class. His energy and commitment to his profession and the overall mission of the college is obvious and inspiring. He has been instrumental in maintaining NATEF certification of the automotive program as well as securing vehicles and tools for use in the automotive shop. funny photos

Michael Skwara is known for his friendly �can do� approach while working with students, faculty and staff as User Services Librarian. Michael�s nomination aptly describes his keen ability to solve complicated technical problems while not losing sight of the human side. He has been instrumental in the implementation and development of the College�s online course management software.

The Highland Community College Foundation also annually recognizes one employee with the Opel Award named for a Highland founder, Don Opel. The award recognizes employees who go �above and beyond� in serving or promoting the College. This year the Foundation presented the award to Early Childhood Education Coordinator, Melissa Johnson. Melissa�s nomination recognized her professional leadership of the Early Childhood faculty. She has led the way for them to begin delivering course content in an alternative delivery mode. Melissa has also revamped the entire Early Childhood Education program curriculum, aligning it to educate students to the most current standards and to provide opportunities for increased transition to 4-year colleges and universities.

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