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May 17
Petersen named MPCC Valentine Community Campus coordinator


Carolyn Petersen sits at her desk at the MPCC Valentine Community Campus on Wednesday. Petersen has been named the new campus coordinator.

A familiar face is greeting visitors at the Mid-Plains Community College campus in Valentine. Carolyn Petersen has taken over as the new campus coordinator after serving as the part-time administrative assistant for the past three years. 

"I'm really excited about this opportunity," Petersen said. "I'm so passionate about the college experience Mid-Plains has to offer because I've lived it." 

Petersen had been out of school for nearly 40 years when she began taking classes through MPCC to prove to her children and grandchildren that it's never too late for an education. 

She graduated with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business and a certificate in Information Technology in December of 2016, while also maintaining three jobs. In addition to working for the college, Petersen was also employed at the post office and was the office manager for KVSH. 

"I learned a lot about this community and the area businesses because of the 13 years I spent at the radio station," Petersen said. "I made calls to all those places. Almost every business in town is or was a client of KVSH at one time or another." 


Her familiarity with Valentine and its needs stems beyond an office setting, however. Petersen has lived in the community since 2002, which allowed her to bond with other residents, attend a variety of local events and develop an appreciation for all that Cherry County has to offer. 

"My daughter graduated from Valentine High School, and my grandchildren have been involved in dance, soccer, track, swim team and other youth activities," Petersen said. "Things like that helped me form a lot of personal connections in town." 

Those relationships, coupled with her marketing and accounting background gave Petersen the confidence to apply for the campus coordinator position. 

"MPCC's mission statement is: 'Transforming lives through exceptional learning opportunities for individual student success.' I feel like I'm the poster child for that because of everything that opened up for me after I took classes through the college," Petersen said. "Now, it's my turn to help others. I'm looking forward to sitting down with students one-on-one and guiding them on their paths to success." 

More information about the MPCC Valentine Community Campus is available online at, or by calling (402) 376-8033. 

May 16
NPCC to host Registration Day

Reg Day.jpg

North Platte Community College will offer an in-depth look at its programs and services during a Registration Day on May 22.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. It will give prospective students an opportunity to sign up for classes and receive the information needed to begin coursework in the fall.

Registration Day is more than just registering for classes, however. It also serves as a foundation - designed to keep prospective students on track and ensure they have a successful and rewarding experience at NPCC through graduation.

"Registration Days help our incoming students set up for success as they transition into their college career," said Mindy Hope, area director of Recruiting and Admissions. "During the events, the students meet the faculty and staff who will support them on their journey. We want students and parents to know how much we care about the students' success and to be aware of all the services we offer to assist them."

Students will be able to take placement tests, if needed, and campus tours will be available. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about:

  • Class scheduling
  • Financial aid
  • Payment expectations
  • Bookstores
  • Career services
  • Advising
  • Library services
  • Student Success/tutors
  • Disability services
  • Student life
  • Student organizations
  • Campus housing 

Although not mandatory, parents are also encouraged to be part of Registration Day. There will be a session designed specifically for them.

Those interested in attending Registration Day are asked to RSVP at The first 50 to sign up will receive a free hoodie.

Additional Registration Days are planned for June 19 and July 31 in North Platte. More information is available by calling (800) 658-4308, ext. 3609.

May 14
MPCC recognizes employees for part-time service

Mid-Plains Community College has honored nine of its employees for their years of part-time service. The employees are:

25 years:

Mark Harwood.jpg

MPCC Area Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jody Tomanek presents Mark Harwood, with a certificate recognizing his 25 years of part-time service to the college. Harwood is a lab assistant in the Auto Body department in North Platte.

15 years:

Hanford Lynn.jpg 

MPCC Area Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jody Tomanek presents Hanford Lynn with a certificate recognizing his 15 years of part-time service to the college. Lynn works in the Physical Resources department in North Platte.

Shannon Corder2.jpg 

MPCC Area Vice-President of Student Affairs Andy Long presents Shannon Corder with a certificate recognizing her 15 years of part-time service to the college. Corder works in the Student Success Center in McCook. 

10 years: 


Dot Epting receives a certificate for 10 years of part-time service to MPCC from Area Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jody Tomanek. Epting works in the Student Success Center in North Platte. 

Rex Heckenlively.jpg

Rex Heckenlively, of Imperial, receives a certificate for 10 years of part-time service to MPCC from Area Vice-President of Student Affairs Andy Long. Heckenlively is a tutor at the MPCC Imperial Community Campus.

Not pictured was Rodney Peters. Peters is a bus driver for MPCC. He was also honored with a certificate for 10 years of part-time service to the college.

5 years:

Kally Vogl.jpg 

Kally Vogl receives a certificate for five years of part-time service to MPCC from Area Vice-President of Student Affairs Andy Long. Vogl is an Adult Basic Education instructor at the MPCC Ogallala Community Campus.  Mary Faesser.jpg

Mary Faesser receives a certificate for five years of part-time service to MPCC from Area Vice-President of Student Affairs Andy Long. Faesser is an Adult Basic Education instructor at the MPCC Ogallala Campus. 


MPCC Area Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jody Tomanek presents Mary Wiese with a certificate for five years of part-time service to the college. Wiese is a Welcome Center receptionist in North Platte.

May 10
MPCC accepting registrations for spring interim classes


A MPCC student puts in some study time in North Platte earlier this year. Interim classes will begin at the college on Monday. 

Mid-Plains Community College will offer three-week interim classes beginning Monday. Interim is the period between the end of the spring semester and the start of summer sessions. 

Registration is now open. On-site, online and distance learning options are all available. The classes include: 

Input Keyboard Technology I – This 3-credit hour online class is an introduction to touch keyboarding using the alphabetic and figure symbol keys on a standard computer keyboard. Students will prepare basic documents such as business letters, memos, tables and reports and will be introduced to a popular word processing software application. 

College Prep Reading – The 3-credit hour reading skills course is designed to improve vocabulary, reading rate, comprehension and study skills so students can be successful in college. Students achieving a reading Accuplacer score between 43 and 73 or equivalent scores on the ACT or SAT are placed in this class. 

College Prep Writing - College Prep Writing is a review of grammar and sentence writing skills including use of words, parts of speech, parts of a sentence, agreement of subject and verb, punctuation of sentences, vocabulary development and paragraph development. This course strengthens English proficiency before attempting college composition. Students achieving a sentence skills Accuplacer score between 644 and 83, or equivalent scores on the ACT or SAT, or who have passed ENGL 0980 with a "C" or higher are placed in this class. The course is worth 3 credit hours and is available online. 

Genre Survey: Poetry – This 3-credit hour online class focuses on the elements and theories of poetry. It includes a study of selected poems stressing the development of a method of analysis and criticism. There is also an emphasis on critical discussion and writing. 

American History I to 1877 – This class is also worth 3 credit hours and is available online. It is a survey of American history from the Age of Discovery through the Civil War and Reconstruction. The emphasis is on the political, economic, cultural, social and technological issues that arose in the development of the American nation. 

Math for Health Occupations – This 2-credit hour class provides a review of the four fundamental operations of fractions and decimals, Roman numerals, ratio and proportion, percentages and the metric, English, apothecary and household systems of measurement. 

Nursing Assistant - This 4-credit hour course trains non-licensed individuals to provide safe, effective and caring services to patients, residents and clients in a variety of health care settings. Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion from MPCC and will qualify for placement on the State of Nebraska Nurse Aide Registry. 

It is recommended that those interested in registering for any of these classes make an appointment with an advisor by calling (308) 535-3701 in North Platte or (308) 345-8102 in McCook. 

MPCC provides numerous scholarships, grants and loans to qualified students. For more information about financial assistance, call (308) 535-3705 in North Platte, or (308) 345-8112 in McCook. 

May 09
Karre named HVAC “Head of the Class”

Head of the Class.jpg

Zach Karre has been named "Head of the Class" for the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology program at North Platte Community College. 

The honor is part of a student recognition conducted by Malco Products, the nation's leading manufacturer of HVAC industry tools. 

Since 2005, Malco's "Head of the Class" program has reached over 45,000 students representing more than 550 technical school, union JATC and industry association career education programs across the U.S. and Canada. 

Karre was selected based on his attendance, participation, grades and internship experience. He was presented with a certificate, baseball cap and 33- pocket HVAC backpack from Malco on Wednesday in the college's HVAC classroom. His classmates also received Malco caps. 

Pictured left to right are: NPCC HVAC students Johnathan Rodriguez, Holyoke, Colo.; Kiffen Cook, Elsie; Aaron Wright, Ogallala; Instructor Rex Kemp and students Zach Karre and Hunter Kelley, both of North Platte; Jaret Matson, McCook and George Haws, North Platte.

May 09
Ag workshop to focus on livestock grazing

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Livestock grazing will be the final topic in an agriculture seminar series offered by Mid-Plains Community College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Services. 

Jerry Volesky, a range and forage specialist for UNL, will present "Grazing Considerations for the Upcoming Year" from 6-8 p.m. May 14. 

The presentation will cover the basic principles of a good grazing management program. Those will include pasture production, stocking rates, rotational grazing systems, timing of grazing and pasture grass response. Volesky will also offer drought preparedness strategies and explain how to maintain proper grazing records. 

The workshop will be in Room 209 of the W. W. Wood Building on the North Platte Community College North Campus, 1101 Halligan Drive in North Platte. The session will be live-streamed to MPCC's other campuses in McCook, Broken Bow, Imperial, Ogallala and Valentine. 

The workshop is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Registrations will be accepted up until the day of the workshop at, or by calling (308) 535-3678. 

May 09
Area high school students earn honor cords from MPCC

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About 260 area high school seniors have earned the right to wear blue and gold honor cords from Mid-Plains Community College at their graduation ceremonies this spring. That's up from 225 students last year. 

To receive a cord, the seniors must have successfully completed 12 or more credit hours of dual enrollment classes through MPCC. The classes count for both high school and college credit. 

"The goal is to recognize students who have taken the initiative to pursue college credit while still in high school," said Becky Barner, MPCC area career coach. "National research has shown that when students graduate high school with college credit already achieved, they are more likely to go on to college and more likely to finish a degree program in college." 

The following list shows how many seniors, as of May 9, had earned honor cords at area schools this year. 

Ansley High School – 2 

Arnold High School – 2 

Arthur County High School - 1 

Brady High School – 2 

Broken Bow High School – 10 

Callaway High School – 5 

Chase County High School - 11 

Cody-Kilgore High School – 2 

Dundy County-Stratton High School – 7 

Hayes Center High School - 1 

Hershey High School – 15 

Homeschool – 3 

Maxwell High School – 2 

Maywood High School – 1 

McCook High School – 22 

North Platte High School - 87 

North Platte St. Pat's  - 12 

Ogallala High School – 22 

Paxton High School – 6 

Perkins County High School – 1 

Sandhills High School – 7 

Sargent High School - 5 

Southwest High School – 6 

Stapleton High School – 2 

Sutherland High School – 7 

Thedford High School - 2 

Valentine High School - 4 

Wallace High School – 7 

Wauneta-Palisade High School - 3 

More information about MPCC's dual enrollment program is available online at 


Honor cord-qualifying students 2018 


LaneMariahAnsley Public School
McAbeeMableAnsley Public School
ConnellCadeArnold High School
SchwarzBlakeArnold High School
TurnerMacKennaArthur County High School
ChristophersenMadisonBrady High School
StevensMariahBrady High School
ColeJackBroken Bow High School
CyboronJoshBroken Bow High School
DodgeIsaacBroken Bow High School
EberleSophieBroken Bow High School
FoxCatherineBroken Bow High School
McMeenMasonBroken Bow High School
NielsenRyanBroken Bow High School
PoppJordanBroken Bow High School
SangerJoelleBroken Bow High School
StaabKirstenBroken Bow High School
BergerVayleCallaway High School
HaidleBrettCallaway High School
StallbaumerIsaacCallaway High School
StillMarshallCallaway High School
StowellSamanthaCallaway High School
AllenJadeChase County High School
ElliottMadisonChase County High School
FriasAbigailChase County High School
GermanJaydenChase County High School
GockleyLaurenChase County High School
GriffinNoahChase County High School
PriorLaurenChase County High School
SchilkeBlakeChase County High School
SpadyCydneyChase County High School
VetterSydneyChase County High School
VitoshHayleyChase County High School
AdamsonSydneyCody-Kilgore Unified Schools
FordTrueCody-Kilgore Unified Schools
AuffetNathanDundy County-Stratton High Sch
BehlkeAllieDundy County-Stratton High Sch
BoydNatalieDundy County-Stratton High Sch
HainesMadisonDundy County-Stratton High Sch
SanfordPhalenDundy County-Stratton High Sch
SmithRyleeDundy County-Stratton High Sch
WieseAshlynDundy County-Stratton High Sch
WachWesleyHayes Center High School
AaseLeslieHershey High School
BandyBritniHershey High School
BrownawellBayleeHershey High School
ChitwoodTaylorHershey High School
ConnellMegganHershey High School
EckhoffTehyaHershey High School
FosterMcKennaHershey High School
HerrickSkylarHershey High School
HudsonRiverHershey High School
KivettKaitlynHershey High School
MackleyJacobHershey High School
McConnellEllaryHershey High School
McGahanBryanHershey High School
SmithMcKadeHershey High School
WolkenSydneyHershey High School
ArmstrongKarlieHome School
BergeronAlyssaHome School
ThompsonZacharyHome School
HuffmanWillMaxwell High School
SommerGraceMaxwell High School
SjeklochaRebelMaywood High School
ArpEmilyMcCook Senior High School
BarenbergJustinMcCook Senior High School
BirdRacquelMcCook Senior High School
ColemanShayneMcCook Senior High School
FisherErikaMcCook Senior High School
GrigerSethMcCook Senior High School
HauxwellKyleeMcCook Senior High School
HoytAshlynMcCook Senior High School
JohnsonAllisonMcCook Senior High School
JohnsonAbbyMcCook Senior High School
LokerLoganMcCook Senior High School
LoopHaidenMcCook Senior High School
MooneyRyleeMcCook Senior High School
MorganBrantleighMcCook Senior High School
NorgaardVictoriaMcCook Senior High School
O'ToolePeytonMcCook Senior High School
PettyIsaiahMcCook Senior High School
SisRileyMcCook Senior High School
StagemeyerHollandMcCook Senior High School
StevensShelbyMcCook Senior High School
TaylorKalebMcCook Senior High School
WilcoxEthanMcCook Senior High School
AlmaguerThelorNorth Platte High School
ArpanHaydenNorth Platte High School
BorgesLeslieNorth Platte High School
BrandtRyleeNorth Platte High School
BrogdonAllisonNorth Platte High School
BrownCallieNorth Platte High School
BrownJaydnNorth Platte High School
BryantAroqueNorth Platte High School
BussardNicholasNorth Platte High School
CadyEmilyNorth Platte High School
CallendarBriannaNorth Platte High School
ClairTracieNorth Platte High School
ClemmonsPhoenixNorth Platte High School
ClutterCeceliaNorth Platte High School
CooperKinzeyNorth Platte High School
DailyPackerNorth Platte High School
DavisJamonNorth Platte High School
DikeScottNorth Platte High School
DoucetNicholasNorth Platte High School
EscobarKevinNorth Platte High School
EzellJasonNorth Platte High School
FrenchJacobNorth Platte High School
GaonaCamronNorth Platte High School
GarciaJoslineNorth Platte High School
GoentzelWilliamNorth Platte High School
GrachekBrandonNorth Platte High School
HansenKaitlynNorth Platte High School
HansonAmandaNorth Platte High School
HatchMandiNorth Platte High School
HoatsonThomasNorth Platte High School
HouserAshleyNorth Platte High School
KeckLeelaNorth Platte High School
KingSkylerNorth Platte High School
KleinowColeNorth Platte High School
KoubekJosieNorth Platte High School
KrullBrysonNorth Platte High School
LeeBryceNorth Platte High School
LehnTaitNorth Platte High School
LeibhartZaneNorth Platte High School
LohoefenerColeNorth Platte High School
MalsburyHallieNorth Platte High School
MathieuKatherineNorth Platte High School
MauchSamanthaNorth Platte High School
McCreeryTaylinNorth Platte High School
McKainHaleyNorth Platte High School
MenghiniGabrielleNorth Platte High School
MerzNathanNorth Platte High School
MillerBaileyNorth Platte High School
MorrisonKadenNorth Platte High School
MortonRoenaNorth Platte High School
NelsonHannahNorth Platte High School
NoldaMercedesNorth Platte High School
OchsnerZacharyNorth Platte High School
PaulJaydaNorth Platte High School
PavelkaPhebeNorth Platte High School
PerkinsJonathanNorth Platte High School
PetersonCaitlynnNorth Platte High School
PiperHaleyNorth Platte High School
PlummerEthanNorth Platte High School
ProkopDaltonNorth Platte High School
PucketIsaiahNorth Platte High School
RamosChristianNorth Platte High School
RamseyEthanNorth Platte High School
RasmussenCadeNorth Platte High School
ReedAmberlynNorth Platte High School
RogersJaceNorth Platte High School
RuffinBraidenNorth Platte High School
San MiguelAlexandriaNorth Platte High School
SeeryJohnathanNorth Platte High School
SheetsCamronNorth Platte High School
SilosJakubNorth Platte High School
SimcoxSaraNorth Platte High School
SimonsonTateNorth Platte High School
SmithSethNorth Platte High School
StreckerMaraNorth Platte High School
SweeneyMilesNorth Platte High School
TatmanChesneyNorth Platte High School
TaylorShaleeNorth Platte High School
TravisEricNorth Platte High School
TregoCarsonNorth Platte High School
TuckerMitchellNorth Platte High School
VaughnAlexisNorth Platte High School
WalkerLukeNorth Platte High School
WolcottDevinNorth Platte High School
WrootKadeNorth Platte High School
Zakrzewski-AtenParkerNorth Platte High School
ZimbelmanKyleNorth Platte High School
ChristensenMcKennaOgallala High School
ChristensenRyanOgallala High School
CogginsCassidyOgallala High School
DehningToryOgallala High School
DohertyJackOgallala High School
DubaBrynnanOgallala High School
HalliganBrennanOgallala High School
HoppensMikahOgallala High School
KlingMadisonOgallala High School
LaringtonDeVereOgallala High School
McAuliffeSarahOgallala High School
MestlKiraOgallala High School
MostAmandaOgallala High School
OrrJordanOgallala High School
PavlikTreytonOgallala High School
RolandMatteaOgallala High School
SchilzAidenOgallala High School
SimmermanShaneOgallala High School
SkalskySaigeOgallala High School
TschetterAbigailOgallala High School
UnreinCamileOgallala High School
WachAdamOgallala High School
AugustineAlexisPaxton High School
BurkeAlexandraPaxton High School
HebblethwaiteTreytonPaxton High School
KrihaCalliePaxton High School
Mullen-BeckTaylorPaxton High School
StorerJeffPaxton High School
TerryChristopherPerkins County High School
DowningTaylorSandhills High School
MartenNolanSandhills High School
MartindalePaigeSandhills High School
PayneAmandaSandhills High School
PetersonElizabethSandhills High School
SanerHeidiSandhills High School
SimonsonJayleeSandhills High School
HorkyAlexanderSargent High School
KempJustinSargent High School
KissellIsabellaSargent High School
KozealCarlySargent High School
SlagleCorrineSargent High School
KragelundAshleySouthwest High School
MillerJaydennSouthwest High School
O'DeaJohn GavinSouthwest High School
PorterBradySouthwest High School
PorterAlexanderSouthwest High School
WadleStevieSouthwest High School
BrosiusJaydenSt Patrick High School
CalhounElizabethSt Patrick High School
GrangerJacobSt Patrick High School
HeissTylerSt Patrick High School
HonermanAmySt Patrick High School
KlasnaShaneSt Patrick High School
KleeweinMadisonSt Patrick High School
MontgomeryAllisonSt Patrick High School
SchrollJamesSt Patrick High School
SkillstadAidenSt Patrick High School
TroshynskiRebekahSt Patrick High School
WhiteGarySt Patrick High School
BoyerNikkiStapleton Public School
BurnsideKayleeStapleton Public School
CopelandKenessaSutherland High School
DowseWilliamSutherland High School
EvansDaltonSutherland High School
FearLarrenSutherland High School
FearBaileeSutherland High School
NaughtinDominicSutherland High School
WhiteSydneySutherland High School
HigginsHannahThedford High School
MastenJosephThedford High School
GraceyKierraValentine High School
HammondSheyenneValentine High School
RobisonGraceValentine High School
SetiadiJulianneValentine High School
BrooksRaineWallace High School
RawlingsBrittanyWallace High School
RosentraterNatalieWallace High School
SullivanHannahWallace High School
SullivanJaredWallace High School
WittErinWallace High School
WoodAnsleyWallace High School
NordhausenLaneeWauneta-Palisade High School
RamirezNatalieWauneta-Palisade High School
SkowReaganWauneta-Palisade High School



May 09
Volentine to retire after 42 years in education


Roger Volentine takes a break from finals week to stare out over the North Platte Community College South Campus on Monday. Volentine’s last day at the college will be May 16.

It's been a great run. 

That's how Roger Volentine, math instructor for North Platte Community College, describes his teaching experience. The Kearney native will retire on May 16 after 22 years of service to NPCC. 

Altogether, Volentine has been an educator for 42 years - a fact that still makes him chuckle considering teaching was never in his original plans. 

"I actually wanted to be a coach because I love athletics," Volentine said. "Before I left high school, my geometry teacher asked me what I was going to teach since teaching and coaching tend to go hand-in-hand. I hadn't thought about that before. She said, 'You should teach math. You're pretty good at it'." 

Math seemed like a far cry from sports, as far as Volentine was concerned – and much less exciting. So by the time he graduated from Kearney High School in 1972, he had made up his mind to teach another subject: physical education. 

It was still athletics, and Volentine knew most of the small schools expected their PE teachers to coach, too. By his second semester of college, however, Volentine decided he didn't really want to spend all day every day in a gym. 

He switched to math. 

Volentine's first job out of college in 1976 was teaching math and coaching boys' basketball and track at Thedford. The next year, the high school's athletic director left, and Volentine applied for the position. 

"I loved it," Volentine said. "I like organizing things and really found my niche in that role." 

What he didn't like anymore, was coaching. 

"After a few years in, I quit coaching, but kept teaching," Volentine said. "I had come to love teaching, which was surprising to me because it was almost the opposite of what I had planned to go into. I enjoyed being around students in a classroom setting and trying to figure out how to explain things in a way they would understand." 


Purpose wasn't the only thing Volentine found in Thedford. It's also where he met his wife Kristy. 

"I had been there about three years when she arrived to teach PE," Roger said. "We were married after less than a year of dating. She's been very supportive and a great encouragement to me over the years." 

In 1982, the Volentines moved to Mullen. Kristy taught Title One reading and math at the elementary school while Roger served as the math teacher and athletic director at the high school. 

"We stayed in Mullen for 14 years," Roger said. "I liked it up in the Sandhills. We met a lot of good people – good kids." 

The Volentines relocated to North Platte in 1996 so Roger could accept his current position as math instructor for NPCC. It was a big change from teaching at the high school level. 

"I was pretty overwhelmed the first year I was here," Roger said. "There was definitely a period of adjustment, but once I got settled, I loved it. Working at the college has been the best job I've had, and that's saying a lot because I really enjoyed my time in the high schools." 


Some of his students at the college have been students he also taught in Thedford and Mullen. 

"That's been fun," Roger said. "I've also seen some students return to my classroom who weren't quite ready for college the first time I taught them. Perhaps they were immature, perhaps they didn't have good study habits, or maybe a combination of both. Then they were back two or three years later, and they were different people and good students. I've seen that happen several times over the years, and it has been very rewarding." 

Commencement is always a proud day for Roger, but it's even more so when he sees students graduating who have had to overcome such personal challenges. 

"To see them achieve their goals – that makes the day even more remarkable," Roger said. "It's things like that I'm really going to miss." 

He will also miss the students, fellow instructors, administrators and staff, but retiring seemed like the right thing to do at this point in his life. 

"My wife and I want to travel while we still can," Roger said. "We have a son, Jason, his wife, Hailey, and our grandson, Leo, in Phoenix and a daughter, Angela, and her husband, Alex, in Houston, so those two cities will get a lot of our time." 

As for his successor, Roger hopes he or she will enjoy the college as much as he has. 

"They are coming to a good place," Roger said. "They can become as involved in things around here as they want to be. There are a lot of opportunities within the college outside of teaching. It's been an excellent job, and I'm grateful for the time I've had." 

On a side note: 

There will be an open house for Roger Volentine from 2-4 p.m. May 9. It will be in the fireplace area of the McDonald-Belton Building on the NPCC South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Rd. Everyone is invited to stop by and wish Volentine well on his retirement. Refreshments will be provided. 

May 07
Personal experience leads North Platte woman to career in nursing


Marleine Emanuel, a nursing student at Mid-Plains Community College, listens to the heartbeat of a pediatric simulator. Emanuel went back to school as a non-traditional student.

When Marleine Emanuel walks across the commencement stage May 11, she will receive an Associate Degree in Nursing.  

The milestone will serve as a recognition of her academic accomplishments and an indicator of the successful completion of the nursing program at Mid-Plains Community College.  

But, it will also be much more than that.  

It will be personal – a step closer to fulfilling a promise Emanuel made to herself two years ago.  

"I can't even explain the feeling," Emanuel said. "It's emotionally overwhelming. This journey seemed like such a long road when I started it, and now to look back and realize I'm done – it's breathtaking." 

Nursing wasn't Emanuel's first career choice. 

She had considered it.

Caring for others runs in her family. Emanuel's grandfather was a midwife in Haiti, and Emanuel had always felt compelled to pursue some sort of profession in the medical field. However, circumstances led her to believe that calling was in pharmacy.  

Emanuel began working as a pharmacy technician in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2009. She started out in a mail-order pharmacy, then moved on to long-term care, home infusion and acute hospital settings.  

"Because I already had experience in the area, my goal was to go to pharmacy school," Emanuel said. "I was in the process of completing my pre-requisites through the University of Cincinnati when my husband and I moved to North Platte in 2015." 

She didn't know it at the time, but the move and an unforeseen event, were about to change her life forever.

"My mother passed away from an illness shortly after we came to North Platte," Emanuel said. "It was sudden, and she didn't get the end-of-life care she should have. That gave me the passion to become a nurse. I decided I wanted to be the one who is there for others – to give them all the comfort, care, compassion and dignity they deserve."

Emanuel checked into the local nursing program at MPCC, expecting to find an extensive waiting list. To her relief, there wasn't one. 

"MPCC is much more accessible than what I was used to," Emanuel said. "In metro areas, where competition is so high, it's difficult to pursue a degree in health care due to long waiting lists. MPCC worked with me and made it happen right away. As an added bonus, all my credits transferred easily." 

Marleine Emanuel2.jpg

The idea of going back to school didn't come without hesitations, however. At the time Emanuel made the decision, she was working as a certified pharmacy technician at Great Plains Health, was trying to raise a child and had another baby on the way. 

"More than once, I thought, 'What am I getting myself into," Emanuel said. "Going back to school is definitely more challenging when you have a family at home, but I must say I had the best support in my husband. He would take care of the kids while I studied and would tell me every day, 'You can do it. I'm so proud of you.' It was very encouraging." 

It didn't take long for Emanuel to realize she had made the right decision.  

"Nurses are there for patients during the most difficult times of their lives," Emanuel said. "Just being around that during clinicals and seeing how much patients appreciate even student nurses - knowing they have their trust in us to provide the best care possible, it's incomparable." 

Emanuel plans to continue her education after MPCC by transferring to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha in the fall. She would eventually like to specialize in intensive care. 

Not only has going back to school allowed her to find and pursue her true passion, but it has also allowed her to set an example - for her children, for other non-traditional students everywhere, and most of all, for herself, that dreams do come true to those who are willing to work for them.  

"I think my mom would have been thrilled that I went back to school," Emanuel said. "She always said the greatest gift any parent could give a child is an education. She believed that if you supported someone physically and emotionally and helped to guide them in the right direction, that's the direction they would go. I believe I'm headed in the right direction." 

May 03
NPCC releases commencement list

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The public is invited to attend the 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremony at North Platte Community College on May 11.

The event will begin at 3 p.m. in the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on NPCC's South Campus, and a livestream will be available at:

The following students will be recognized.

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Auto Body Technology:

North Platte - Charles Martin

Wallace - Juan Gomez Olave

Automotive Technology:

Gothenburg - Aaron Kreuscher         

North Platte - Joseph Pafford, Jason West    

Building Construction Technology:

Imperial - Kinberlyn Benitez Aguilar

North Platte - Cody Harrison, Ian Smith


Ansley - Kami Nelson

Broken Bow - Shannon Pomplun      

Hershey - Madison Hoatson  

Kearney - Jessica Eckhout

North Platte - Michael Bergmeier, Rebecca Chessmore, Shawn Farley, Brenda Fourtner, Ashley Gurciullo, Naomi Layher, Stephanie Manka, Susan Marquez, Nicole Nickerson, Dylan Petersen, Sabrina Rosenberg, Sarah Ryan

Stapleton - Levi Peterson       

Sutherland - Dominic Naughtin        

Valentine - Kyle Osnes

Waterbury - Nathan Bausch  

Business Office Technology:

North Platte – Brookelynn Bokoskie, Anne Marie Finchem, Kaile Jacobson, Alexander Lopez

Dental Assisting:

North Platte - Remingten Elsen, Angelena Glaze-Harrison, Jaedyn Michaels

Diesel Technology:

Imperial - Luis Frias  

Lewellen - Brady Tophoj

North Platte - Bryan Higgins, Amber Soliday

Electrical Technology:

Maywood – John VanDrimmelen      

North Platte - Shay Bamesberger, Markos Nila, Austin Pankonin, Jared Schaefer  

Ogallala - Nick Rivas

Hamburg, Iowa - Bryce Moran          

Emergency Medical Services:

North Platte - Shannon Moore

Fire Science Technology:

North Platte - Angelica Diones

Graphic Design/Visual Communications:

Litchfield - Justine Pickar      

North Platte - Carl Epley, Cameron Fagan, Justin Mayfield, Jacob McNeel, Whittney Pirnie, Caitlyn Whitmore

Sidney - Mikenna Curlee

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology:

Ogallala - Aaron Sipley

Information Technology:

Champion – Richard Stolz

Ogallala - Conner Costello

Medical Laboratory Technician:

Grant - Heather Cockerill      

Kearney - Brylle Morgan       

Maxwell - Jesse Carlyle

Ogallala - Tara Doughty

Sterling, Colo. - Lacey Weigel          

Welding Technology:

Curtis - Kelly Morrow

Ogallala - Brandon Raffaeli, Avery Unrein   

Associate of Arts Degree

 Brady - Erin Hajj, Nathaniel Sitorius

Gothenburg - Madison Gilg   

Hershey - Ashlee Pierce

North Platte - Jaimee Barrett, Emily Cady, Ashleigh Cardwell, Marsha Coleman, Ashleen Flory, Haleigh Gerlach, Kimberli Harmon, Courtney Kohl, Robert Park, Bryson Phillips, Ariel Quiroga, Alisha Starner, Kandace Ward, Taylor Wiese

Ogallala - Amanda Kroeger   

Oshkosh - Steven Carlton

Scottsbluff - Alysianna Camacho      

Sutherland - Kelsey Folchert, BreAhnna Thompson 

Broomfield, Colo. - Alexandra Baldner

Thornton, Colo. - Alicia Romo          

Lahaina, Hawaii - Dianarey Talaroc-Kaniho 

Houston, Texas - Peighton Porter

San Antonio, Texas - Lexa Lealiiee, Loren Lealiiee 

Rolling Hills, Wyo. - Emmye Bruno 

Lima, Peru - Alejandra Vivar

Associate of General Studies Degree

Broken Bow - Valerie Ostrander

Cedar Bluffs - Rowan Ptomey

North Platte - Brock Alexander, China Dixon, Kayla Dockery, Andrew Engbrecht, Bridget Marquez, Heath Monie, Brittany Roos, Patti Waltman

Ogallala - Kelsie Medina

Taylor - John Schroder

Tryon - Michaela Schultis

Douglasville, Ga. - Mikela Cabagua 

Rolling Hills, Wyo. - Emmye Bruno 

Treasure Cay, Bahamas - Godfrey Rolle III 

Sofia, Bulgaria - Ester Micheva         

Associate Degree of Nursing

Benkelman - Crystal Daniels 

Big Springs - Stacie Marquez

Elwood - Heidi Button

Imperial - BreAnna Brown

McCook - Kayla Bauer, Brandy Lewandowski        

North Platte - Shea Baumgartner, Jennifer Belgum, Christina Blanton, Rachel Breinig, Jesirae Earl, Marleine Emanuel, Anna Griffiths, Bobbi Gustason, Jennifer Kleewein, Gina Melcher, Samantha Robins, Angela Rodda, Sabrina Stineman, Shayla Tallmon, Selena Venezie 

Ogallala - Haley Gies, Donette Horn 

Sargent - Jeffrey Walent 

Associate of Science Degree

Bellevue - Allison Tichy

Big Springs - Keturah Reno  

Brady - Chase Barthel , Stephanee Black, Nathaniel Sitorius

Broken Bow - Jeffrey Frede  

Curtis - Robert Willis III       

Gothenburg - Jaime Burkink, Madison Gilg, Haley Olsen-Cline                  

Grant - Kaden Kammerer, Caden Picquet

Hershey - Cody Fear, Hannah Johnson, Ashlee Pierce

Imperial - Cheyanne Kuhlmann       

Lexington - Isabel Arredondo 

Maxwell - Cass Bennett  

North Platte - Jaimee Barrett, Shelby Bokoskie, Cristina Bravo, Ashleigh Cardwell, Zachary Carter, Rachele Dailey, Brittany Davis, Myesha Dickens, Haleigh Gerlach, Alexis Gies, Cindy Marie Glos, Marcus Gutherless, Javan Hansen, Tracy Hoffman, Cole Lewis, Bryson Phillips, Ariel Quiroga, Kayleigh Richardson, Mindy Schmadeke, Lindi Simmons, Kamrin Stacy, Kandace Ward, Caitlyn Whitmore, Taylor Wiese, Kristina Witt, Sierra Young

Ogallala - Cole Beckius, Kelsie Medina 

Omaha - Buomkuoth Dobuol, Goy Lew       

Oshkosh - Steven Carlton 

Riverdale - Regan Rasmussen        

Stapleton - Morgan Klosen 

Sutherland - Jocey Nelson      

Tryon - Michaela Schultis      

Golden, Colo. - Erin Renwick           

Otis, Colo. - Antonya Schaffert 

Douglasville, Ga. - Mikela Cabagua  

Lahaina, Hawaii - Dianarey Talaroc-Kaniho  

Wichita, Kan. - Naria Hall      

Plano, Texas - Brandon Headroe 

San Antonio, Texas - Lexa Lealiiee    

Syracuse, Utah - Alyiah Franco         

Cheyenne, Wyo. - McKenzie Holmes         

Rolling Hills, Wyo. - Emmye Bruno 

Lima, Peru - Alejandra Vivar 


Auto Body Technology 

Grand Island - Chance Boersen 

North Platte - Colton Houser, Brandon McElwee, Cameron Winder            

Automotive Technology 

McCook - Kyle Van Pelt 

Building Construction Technology 

Kimball - Tessa Opalinski      

Dental Assisting 

North Platte - Jessica Martin  

Diesel Technology 

Eustis - Matthew Blender       

Hershey - Brock DaMoude    

Lexington - Luis Esquivel Saldana    

North Platte - Isaiah Smith, Randy Tallmon, Hobie Vogt     

Sutherland – Casey McGeeney 

Early Childhood Education 

North Platte - Bridget Marquez          

Electrical Technology

Culbertson - Jimmy Cole        

McCook - Owen Wais 

North Platte - Cole Hall, Dillon Thompson  

Ogallala - Austin Johnson       

Scottsbluff - Hever Morales    

Emergency Medical Services 

North Platte - Derek Enderle  

Paxton - Wade Waugh 

Heating,Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology 

Elsie - Kiffen Cook     

McCook - Jaret Matson 

North Platte - Zachary Karre, Hunter Kelley 

Holyoke, Colo. - Johnathan Rodriguez 

Practical Nursing 

Ainsworth - Sasha Brook 

Broken Bow - Emily Gottschalk, Nichole Powers     

Mullen - Randii Byrd 

North Platte - Shalee Fillmer, Crashell Foster, Sarah Griesfeller, Kelsey Hanson, RaeLynn Foster 

Valentine - Amber Wehrbein  


Air Conditioning 

North Platte - George Haws  

Automotive Technology 

North Platte - Morgan Hoaglund        

Taylor - Bryce Thoman 

Basic Auto Body 

North Platte - Cameron Winder      

Ogallala - Savion Smith          

Building Construction Technology           

Imperial - Diana Benitez Aguilar       

Customization and Restoration 

North Platte - Charles Martin 

Wallace - Juan Gomez            


North Platte - Charles Martin 


George Haws – North Platte 

Heat Pump 

North Platte - George Haws   

Medical Billing and Coding 

North Platte - Kari Bell, Megan Blank-Phillips, Jennifer Howell, Erin White        

Ogallala - Christina Fitzpatrick 

Sutherland - Shelly Compton, Debra Stout    

Medical Office Technology

North Platte - Kari Bell, Valerie Heilig, Jennifer Howell, Erin White 

Ogallala - Christina Fitzpatrick 

Sutherland - Shelly Compton 

Medical Transcriptionist 

Ogallala - Christina Fitzpatrick 

Sutherland - Shelly Compton 

Multimedia Design 

Brady - Jared Most     

North Platte - Jonathan Stadler 

Print Design 

Brady - Jared Most     

North Platte - Jessica Nichols

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Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​