March 12, 2020
Story and photo by Brandon Steinert
Four students from Barton Community College in the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society were recognized as members of the PTK All-Kansas Academic Team during an award luncheon Thursday at the Ramada Inn in Topeka.
Dawn Ledeboer and Joanna Lockwood from the Barton County campus and Samuel Martin and Priscilla Zertuche from the Fort Riley campus were honored, and all except Zertuche were able to attend the award ceremony.
PTK is the international honor society for two-year colleges and symbolizes excellence in higher education. Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are invited to join PTK. The PTK group at Barton spends significant time sponsoring local events as well as volunteering to support others’ events.
The students had to go through an application process and their applications were reviewed by an anonymous selection panel on their respective campuses. All four students will have a chance at being named to PTK’s All-USA Academic Team, announced in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, the PTK honorees are enjoying their accomplishments.
“I’m really excited about it; I feel honored,” Ledeboer said. “This makes me excited to continue my education. And this means scholarships, which is really good as I’m paying for my education. This takes a weight off my shoulders.”
Ledeboer said she came to Barton to compete on the golf team and for the agriculture program, but in her time at Barton, she learned what she really wants and developed a new plan for the next phase of her education. She’ll be transferring to Kansas State University next semester with a different trajectory.
“I switched focus to graphic design; I was doing a lot of artwork on the side and decided it would be a better fit,” she said. “I’d like to have a career in graphic design or advertising or possibly marketing. I like the idea of helping others communicate the thoughts in their head to other people in a way that’s effective. That is very rewarding, but the main thing that draws me to it is the creative aspect and constant challenges.”
Ledeboer is a strong example of the type of student who winds up on the PTK All-Kansas Academic Team, having served as Student Government President, Collegiate Farm Bureau President and involved in sports and other groups on campus. She said every bit of her education experience at Barton has helped her grow.
“I love the sense of community and that this feels like a small college,” she said. “I’ve loved the connections I’ve been able to make here.”