President's Page - December 18, 2019

15th Blog – Best Neighborhood

It is likely that you have taken notice of the new screen play, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, and that you are familiar with Fred Rogers contribution to televised children’s programming. The Mr. Rogers series was an outstanding televised production that resonated with children and parents.  The themes in the Mr. Rogers series and themes that are played out in the movie is that regardless of age, all people deserve respect, love, and positive attention.  Mr. Rogers’ messages were real and filled with happiness.  The themes present are deserving for all neighborhoods.

Each of us are affiliated with neighborhoods of sorts – residence, church, work, recreation.  As for our job sites, we represent an educational neighborhood where we come together and take an active role in meeting our commitments and responsibilities.  Our collective personal values come together and are blended to provide a special uniqueness to our neighborhood. 

This past year, I have shared multiple accounts that represent Barton’s unique qualities.  This past 2 weeks, several testimonials have been shared with me provided by three students and two employees.  These in-person testimonials expressed appreciation for our unique neighborhood.  Unfortunately, as human nature is, it is all too easy to overlook what is good and we trap ourselves in the not-so-good.  We hear, see, and read accounts of fellow educational entities and institutions faced with circumstances that we are relieved does not exist at Barton, and we all have our personal experiences reinforcing our beliefs that Barton is truly special.  In support, I draw your attention to a message that was received yesterday from a current Barton student:

Dear Dr. Heilman,

I am writing to express my gratitude to all of the facility and staff here at Barton Community College; also the Board of Trustees, and anyone else I have failed to mention. I started my journey here at Barton before summer classes began; transferring in with 29 hours from two other schools.  I decided  to return to school because I was so unhappy with my job. I had the same job for almost ten years and was not completely appreciated for my talents and efforts, as well as not having a living wage. This was a problem. I was miserable with myself and my life.  I knew I was not doing what I needed to do anymore, to make the difference in the world I wanted to make.  My time was done with that chapter; my only option left was to go back to school, get an education and get on with saving the World.  I'm 43, in case anyone is wondering. I made the decision to finish what I started, and move on to obtaining a bachelor's degree after graduating from Barton. I plan on obtaining a degree in Collaborative Design. I want to work with Engineers, Material Scientist, Architects, etc. I am a humanitarian and plan on organizing, planning and building communities for America's Veterans; the system is broken and this country should not have homeless Veterans, we should not have homeless people. I'm then off to save the world; toilets for all!

This establishment, is by far my best experience with a higher learning organization.  Mrs. Maddy has an amazing staff in the Student Support Services Department. I must give thanks to Nolan in the Tutoring Lab, Jakki the therapist, Christopher Stott, Paige Morgan, and the library staff.  Oh goodness, surly I'm forgetting someone, all apologies, I only am allowed three paragraphs.  Everyone undoubtedly is familiar with the  "It takes a village," I truly believe Barton Community College is an amazing village. From the maintenance staff, to the business office, janitorial staff, cafeteria staff, and other behind the scenes, I have not encountered, I thank you all for keeping things running smoothly and seamlessly operating as a fine oiled machine.   My first encounters included the academic adviser Mary Doyle, and the financial aid department where Addy and Samantha were helping me every step of the way.  The process was daunting to say the least.  I had to go through the appeal process for financial aid; it was nerve wracking. The good news is, I was accepted with the unrelenting assistance and persistence of Latisha White.  I can not move on from this thought without mentioning Shanda Mull; she is still using business cards from before the school's logo changed; with all the money she is saving, maybe we could get an ice machine in the Coffee Cove (ha, ha).  I then sought out the Student Support Services department, with Rita Thurber and Penny Zimmerman close at hand, I started my journey to enrollment. I began classes here this past summer, enrolling in 12 hours.  I have completed the fall semester, and will graduate this spring with an associates degree.

All of my professors have been outstanding. I started the summer with Intro to Film with Dr. Able, then English Composition II with Chris Scheideman (High School English Teacher from Larned),  The fall semester was amazing; I had the honor of being instructed by amazing individuals; Dr. Hathcock for College Algebra, Dr. Folkerts for Ballroom Dancing, Mr. Forst for Design I, and Mr. Sloan for World and Regional Geography. There are not words sufficient to describe my gratitude, appreciation, and admiration for all of my instructors; I was terrified to start school again, but I knew I must. . . so I did, and here we are. I have spent an unimaginable amount of time in the tutoring lab, which I am eternally grateful for. I have made new friends from everywhere imaginable, foreign lands and locals alike; even Dr. Ravitiskiy,( I do not have a class with him, but he is a treasure for sure), what an amazing asset to this amazing establishment. I cannot complete this letter without thanking the Shafer Gallery Staff and the Barton Foundation for supporting the Shafer Gallery events as well as everything else the Foundation is responsible for. I wish to also thank Brooke, and Amye in the Administration building for making the meeting with you today possible. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME; it was a joy and a pleasure to meet with you. I cannot express enough how much it means to me that I have met you and was able to visit with you. Thank you, Dr. Heilman, for meeting with me. This was truly a wonderful day.

With Best Regards,

Elsie J. Randel 

Please use this moment and coming holiday season to reflect on the role you have played in building our neighborhood.  Thankfully, each of you have contributed and I trust that each of you will continue to do so.

Merry Christmas to each of you.  Enjoy your well-deserved break and thank you for being a part of Barton’s neighborhood.


This month, Matt Connell, Coordinator of Adult Education, has been recognized as being the featured writer for the National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD) Innovation Abstracts – Congratulations Matt!

Prairie Ink Fall 2019Editor, Scott McDonald, with assistance of many local contributors, has assembled the 10th issue of the Prairie Ink.  Prairie Ink has grown into an annual tradition that continues to highlight local talent and thoughtful entries.  Thank you Scott and contributors.

From: Hung, Harry Dayan COL USARMY USAG (USA)
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 10:25 AM
To: Heilman, Carl Dr. 
Subject: RE: Barton County College (UNCLASSIFIED)

Dr. Heilman,

Thank you for coming to meet me and it was my pleasure to have you here.  You and your team at Barton Community College are making a real positive impact for our military community.  Thanks and appreciate all you've done thus far and look forward to growing our efforts together.

Looking forward to having lunch and discussing more with your trustees in June!

Colonel Harry D. Hung

Commander, US Army Garrison Leavenworth