Ever since I can remember our family tradition has been to make new years’ resolutions. I have to admit that growing up in the 1960s I made my share of ”world peace” resolutions and those other resolutions that fit that stage of our life. I believe that as we mature or get older, whichever comes first, our resolutions become more grounded in reality.

Professionally, I resolve each year to find new ways of making sure our students at Labette Community College are at the center of our daily operations. Each day our faculty researches new teaching methods and technologies to reach out to our students. The resolution of finding more ways to put students first has become a visual reality as you drive past campus. The construction of the new state of the art Sonny & Sophia Zetmeir Health Science Building is in full swing. Each donor for this project saw the potential for our students and our health science programs through this construction. Each donor firmly believes in the students and the faculty which educate our students.

Over our holiday break I made a conscious effort to reflect on things that we have accomplished at LCC, besides beginning the largest building project to date.

As I thought through the host of things we were able to accomplish I kept coming back to names and faces of students that I met when they first arrived and the changes that took place during their stay with us. I think back to my early college days and wonder how I made it through some days. It was the contact that I had with outstanding faculty and administrators and their encouragement that meant the most to me. Their continued encouragement makes up the atmosphere that is conducive to student success.

All you have to do is take a 15 minute walk around our campus and quietly listen to our faculty members teaching and sharing their talents with our students. You walk through Student Services and see true professionals guiding students toward their ultimate career goals. You walk through our Student Success Center and see the interaction and support that strengthens our students' resolve to continue forward and reach their goals.

You walk over the Athletic Department and see the leadership displayed and developed by our outstanding coaching staff. You see the support we have from our community when they come out to see our student athletes on the court, the mats, or the fields.

LCC is blessed to have so many professionals guiding our students toward a successful career goal. We are also so very blessed to have a community and our alumni that have been and are so supportive of things we are trying to accomplish for our students. We are so very fortunate to have the leadership we do from our Board of Trustees. Those folks give of their time and talents with one goal and that is to help our students. Each board member brings their expertise that allows for solid decisions that continues our tradition of excellence for our students.

This is the time of year that we select the best of the best. Our Phi Theta Kappa honors program does so much for our students and our community.

In February we have an absolute honor of seeing them presented with their statewide leadership award in Topeka. I always feel like a proud parent when I have the pleasure of presenting them with their award in front of the governor, members of our Legislature, the Board of Regents, but most importantly, their parents and significant others. This year we are so very fortunate to present those awards to Brant Parker and Tyler Davis at the Kansas Academic Team Luncheon. These students both give so much of themselves to PTK and their community. We are extremely proud of them.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have many talented students participating in all kinds of college club and civic activities. They are an asset to our community. We have so many faculty and staff that give of their time inside and outside the college. When I came here seven years ago I said we were the best community college in Kansas, and they haven’t proven me wrong!

So back to the topic at hand, my new year’s resolution: “I resolve to make a difference in our students' lives every single day,” they are the future of our college, our community and our nation. I feel great that we are handing our leadership roles over to them. I hope you are as well.

As always I want you to experience what I experience on a daily basis. Come and visit. See students creating great pieces of art in John Ford’s ceramics class, observe the outstanding teachings of Doug Ecoff in his chemistry class, see the exciting things that happen in all of our health care programs. And finally we have great line up of home basketball games and a men’s and women’s team that won’t disappoint you.

We are all in good hands with the students who are graduating, moving into the workforce, assuming leadership roles and becoming our future. LCC accepts full responsibility for the greatness we have a part in producing.

I hope your new year will be a great as mine.

Recommended for you