Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Oct 16
MPCC finishes strong in North Dakota

Samantha Vontleeder.jpg

Samantha Vontleeder 

The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team placed five in the Top Five over the weekend at the last fall rodeo of the season. 

The team competed at the North Dakota State University Bison Stampede in Fargo, N.D. on Friday and Saturday. 

Members took home two first place finishes. Nate Bausch, of Waterbury, claimed one of those in the bull riding. 

"It was nice to see Nate getting things done," said Dustin Elliott, MPCC Rodeo Team roughstock coach. "He was plagued with injury last year, and it looks like things are finally coming together for him." 

Nathan Bausch.jpg

Nate Bausch

Samantha Vontleeder, of Ainsworth, also scored a win in the barrel racing – propelling MPCC to third place in the women's team standings. 

"We really ended on a high note as far as the women on our team are concerned," said Garrett Nokes MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach. "I'm real proud of them. Sam's run in North Dakota moved her up to third in the region." 

Reed Murray, of Belvue, Kan., and Lane Kennedy, of Orleans, Neb. placed second in the team roping at the Bison Stampede, while Trenton Solida, of Phillipsburg, Kan. ended up fifth in the tie-down roping. 

Lane Kennedy1.jpg Reed1.jpg

 Lane Kennedy                                            Reed Murray

"Lane hadn't roped since he suffered an injury at the MPCC Stampede in September, but he asked if he could in North Dakota," said Nokes. "You have to be pretty tough mentally to do something like that." 

Murray had been left to scramble when Kennedy was injured at the MPCC Stampede. The coaches had five minutes to find him a new partner – and it couldn't be someone already entered in the team roping. 

"We ended up pulling someone out of the bull pen who hadn't roped in over a year," said Nokes. "Reed and his partner had tough luck the next couple of rodeos in Iowa, so for Reed and Lane to end the fall fifth in the region – that's pretty awesome. I look forward to some good things from them come spring." 

Trenton Solida.jpg

Trenton Solida

MPCC is currently ranked as following in the regional standings: 

  • Bull riding - Garrett Wickett – Norfolk, first; Bausch, seventh 
  • Steer wrestling - Sawyer Strand – Harrisburg, S.D., second; Tyler Murray – McCook, third 
  • Barrel racing – Vontleeder, third 
  • Team roping heeler - Wyatt Killion – Ainsworth, third; Kennedy, fifth 
  • Team roping header – Murray, fifth 
  • Tie-down roping - Riley Weehler – Maloy, Iowa, fifth; JT Bradley – Brewster, sixth; Clay Bauer – Arcadia, ninth 
  • Women's team – fourth 
  • Men's team – second 

"We went into the Bison Stampede first and second with UNL," said Nokes. "I would love for the two Nebraska teams to be the top two teams in the region going into nationals. That has never happened. The last time Lincoln sent a team was in the early to mid '80s, so for them to come that far and for us to improve as much as we have – I think that would just be cool." 

Oct 16
Phased out equipment will be available to the public


A 2003 Chevy Cavalier will be sold as part of this year's surplus computer and electronics silent auction at NPCC on Oct. 25. Bidding will start at $750.

North Platte Community College will conduct a surplus computer and electronics auction on Oct. 25. Numerous computers, printers, speakers and audio equipment will be available. 

Items will include about 25 Dell laptops and approximately 15 Dell desktop computers, all with Windows 7 operating systems on them. All have been cycled down through the college departments and eventually phased out. They still have the ability to serve a personal use for gaming, bookkeeping, etc. 

"We also have Apple Mac desktop computers that will be put back to factory settings, TVs, DVD/VCR combos and a DVD surround sound system among many other items," said Ron Axtell, director of physical resources at NPCC. "Everything will be sold 'as is' with no warranty." 

All items will also be sold by silent bid.  

"If winners are present when the auction ends, they will be given top priority in settling up and subsequent removal," said Axtell. "Everyone else will be notified electronically, which is why it is important that bidders provide either their email address or cell phone number when they register." 

In a slight twist this year, a car has been added to the silent auction. The vehicle will be displayed at the south entrance of the W.W. Wood Building on NPCC's North Campus. 

"The car is a 2003 Chevy Cavalier," said Axtell.  "It's gold, has two new tires and has been recently serviced. It might make a good second or third vehicle or even a great school car. The starting bid is $750." 

All other items will be in Room 202 of the W. W. Wood Building.  Payment will be by cash or credit card only. There is no ATM on site, and checks will not be accepted. 

The silent auction will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. The auction site will close at 6 p.m. It will reopen at 8 a.m. on Oct. 26 to give winning bidders a chance to collect their items. 

Everything must be removed by 5 p.m. Those picking up items are asked to take their ID and auction number with them.   

More information is available by emailing, or calling 535-3628. 

Oct 16
Schroder named NPCC Business Student of the Month

JW Schroder1.jpg

JW Schroder, of Taylor, has been named Business Student of the Month at North Platte Community College. Schroder is a saddle bronc rider on the college's rodeo team. 

A Taylor man has been selected as North Platte Community College's Business Student of the Month for October. 

JW Schroder graduated from Loup County High School in 2016. He is currently pursuing an Associate of Science degree at NPCC. 

"I selected NPCC because I had friends already attending," said Schroder. "Since I've been here, the faculty has prepared me to transfer to a bigger school and be successful in life." 

Schroder is on track to graduate in May of 2018. After that, he plans to transfer to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and study agriculture banking. 

Until then, Schroder will keep busy with his studies and extracurricular activities at NPCC. Those include competing on the college's rodeo team, participating in STEM Club and serving through Phi Theta Kappa. 

"JW is a remarkable young man with a strong character and work ethic," said Cathy Nutt, business instructor. "In addition to that, he is a very likable person who is pleasant to be around and visit with. I appreciate his hard work and the goals he has set to reach his vision for the future." 

Schroder enjoys riding horses and hunting in his spare time. His parents are John and Belinda Schroder. 

Oct 12
MPCC scholarship application now online

online application.jpg

Current and prospective MPCC students can now fill out the scholarship application online. The priority deadline for turning in a scholarship application for the 2018-19 award cycle is March 1.

Applying for scholarships is now easier than ever at Mid-Plains Community College. 

MPCC has launched a new online scholarship application, allowing current and potential students to fill out the required form from the comfort of their home computer. 

 "We're really excited about this new, easy-to-use format," said Erinn Brown, area director of Financial Aid. "It will streamline the application process and be a huge time-saver for everyone involved." 

The form can be accessed at Both current and prospective MPCC students will need to register for an account to complete the scholarship application. 

Brown recommends that students register with an email address they will have access to throughout the 2018-19 school year to ensure they receive follow up communications. 

Students will be able to see within their accounts what scholarships they qualify for and track the progress of their applications. 

"If they receive an award, students will be notified through the system," said Brown. "They can then log in to accept or decline the scholarship." 

The priority deadline for turning in a scholarship application for the 2018-19 award cycle is March 1. More information about the process is available by calling Brown at (308) 345-8112, or emailing

Oct 11
Second round of fall classes begins Monday

fall classes.jpg

The second round of eight-week fall classes will begin Monday at Mid-Plains Community College. Students can sign up for any of them the first week they are offered. 

A variety of on-site, online and distance learning courses are available, and many are open enrollment, meaning anyone can take them. 

Introduction to the Visual Arts, Human Anatomy/Physiology I, Personal/Professional Development, Introduction to Business, Job Search Strategies, College Prep Writing, English Composition II, the Literature of Nature and Music Appreciation are just some of the classes offered. 

Others include: Supply Chain Management, Fundamentals of Mathematics, Elementary Algebra, College Algebra, Fundamentals of Phlebotomy, Nursing Assistant, Medication Aide, Risk Management for Events and Sports, Drugs and Sports, Leadership Behavior, Intro to Logic and Critical Thinking, American Government, Beginning Computer I and II, QuickBooks and Microsoft Office Excel. 

Additionally, numerous physical education classes are available through the college. Those include: Swimming I and II, Swimming and Conditioning, Walking and Jogging, Weight Training I, Aerobics I and II, Bowling, Beginning Yoga, Intermediate Yoga, ST:rYde (spinning) and Power Sculpting I and II. 

A complete list can be found at:

It is recommended that those interested in registering make an appointment with an advisor first 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.

Oct 10
Clown Town is no laughing matter


It might sound happy and carefree, but an upcoming attraction at the Lincoln County Historical Museum is not for the faint of heart. 

The museum will be converted into a Clown Town on Oct. 19-21 and Oct. 26-31. The event is a fundraiser for both the museum and the North Platte Community College Softball Team. 

The stars of the show aren't your typical birthday party entertainment. 

"Mini clowns, clowns with chainsaws, clowns that light up – you name it, they will be out there," said Janelle Higgins, NPCC head softball coach. "A few of them will probably even be heating up tools in the blacksmith shop." 

The softball team and museum have offered a spooky Halloween activity for the past 11 years. 

"We always try to theme it around a scary movie or something else relevant at the time," said Higgins. "The last couple of years, 'The Purge: Election Year' and 'American Horror Story' were fresh on everyone's minds. This year was all about the movie, 'It' and 'Annabelle: Creation'." 


As a result, the route through the museum's village will be lined with a combination of creepy clowns and dolls. There will be no way for guests to escape. 

"This will be the second year that visitors have had to walk through the village as opposed to riding on a trailer – the comfort of that is gone," said Higgins. "Now, there is a specific path they have to take, and it's completely opposite from what it was in the past." 

Those who prefer to partake in less scary activities can play laser tag for $5 a game. A variety of glow items, such as fidget spinners and swords, will be available for purchase, as will giant pumpkins and refreshments including popcorn and hot chocolate. The museum will also offer trick-or-treating from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 31.

Clown Town activities are planned for 7:30-10 p.m. every night with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays, when times will be extended to midnight. 

Admission is cash only. It's $7 for adults and free for children eight and younger.  

Oct 09
O'Leary shares message of hope, inspiration


Inspirational speaker John O'Leary gives a presentation at the Fox Theatre in McCook on Friday. His talk was part of Fall Enrichment Day for Mid-Plains Community College. O'Leary's message was one of hope, perseverance and survival based on his own experiences. 

At age 9, O'Leary was severely burned in an explosion and was given a 1 percent chance to live. He spent five months in the hospital, underwent dozens of surgeries, lost all of his fingers to amputation and had to relearn how to walk, write and feed himself.

He lived and endured – largely because of the support he had from those around him. O'Leary told those gathered in McCook that while people can't always choose the paths they walk in life, they can choose the manner in which they walk those paths. 

He encouraged them to be victors instead of victims, to live inspired and to constantly ask themselves, "What more can I do?"

Oct 09
MPCC employees honored for service

A total of 32 Mid-Plains Community College employees have been honored for their years of service to MPCC.

Awards, based on five-year increments of full-time service, were presented Oct. 6 during MPCC's Fall Enrichment Day in McCook. Recognitions were as follows: 

Five years:  


Pictured left to right: MPCC employees Vinson Skiver, Amanda Burks, Jennifer Morgan, Bridget Lange, Kenneth Alred, Bonnie Kruse, Norm Eilenberger, Kim Maciejewski, Mike Steele, Brenda Ledall, Gail Knott, Kaci Johnson and Cindy Odean receive five-year service awards. (Not pictured is Brandon Pritchett.) 

10 years:  


Pictured left to right: MPCC employees Jessie Allen, Becky Meyers, Cathy Nutt, Jon Olsen, Chad Swanson and Jeff Pinkerton are recognized for 10 years of service to the college. (Not pictured are: Jared Daily, Dik Haneline and Brandon Lenhart.) 

15 years:  

15 years.jpg

Pictured left to right: MPCC President Ryan Purdy and MPCC employees Janell Hartzer and Charles Green receive awards for 15 years of service to the college. 

20 years: 


Pictured left to right: MPCC employees Kathy Fickenscher, Chuck Salestrom and Tim Hall receive awards for 20 years of service to the college. 

25 years:  

Deb Cumming.jpg

Deb Cumming, area financial aid specialist, receives an award for 25 years of service to MPCC from Andy Long, area vice president of Student Affairs and McCook Community College. 

30 years:  

Wilma Douty.jpg

Wilma Douty, student services administrative assistant, receives an award for 30 years of service to MPCC from Andy Long, area vice president of Student Affairs and McCook Community College.

35 years:  


Lynn Salyer, mathematics instructor, is honored for 35 years of service to MPCC by Dr. Jody Tomanek, area vice president of academic affairs and North Platte Community College. 

Oct 05
MPCC Public Information Office earns Medallion Awards


The Mid-Plains Community College Office of Public Information and Marketing has been recognized for demonstrating outstanding achievement in communications. 

The department won seven Medallion Awards during the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations conference in Davenport, Iowa on Sunday. 

The Medallion contest is the only regional competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and public relations professionals at two-year colleges. 

Among those receiving awards was Chuck Salestrom, area vice president of public information and marketing. Salestrom's promotional video, "Clara vs. Page: See the Difference," provided insight into the benefits of MPCC's dual credit programs. The piece won silver in the Television/Video Advertisement - Single or Series category. 

Ann Walsh, MPCC's area lead graphic designer, took home bronzes in two categories: Flier – Single or Series for an EMT marketing flier and Annual Report for her 2015-16 Annual Report. 

Heather Johnson, MPCC area communications specialist, received a gold Medallion in the Social Media or Online Marketing Campaign category for a Miss Rodeo Nebraska social media campaign as well as three awards in the Excellence in Writing category. 

Johnson received a silver for her story about a non-traditional student in MPCC's building construction program. She earned two bronzes for a story about the English as a Second Language program in Imperial and for a story about two non-traditional students who live in Imperial and commute each day to take classes through the Auto Body Technology program in North Platte.   

MPCC's promotion, marketing and advertising work was up against community colleges throughout Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, the Canadian province of Manitoba, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Oct 05
MPCC Rodeo Team wins big in Iowa

JT Bradley2_small.jpg

JT Bradley, of Brewster, competes in the steer wrestling at the Iowa Central Community College Triton Stampede on Sept. 29. He ended up fifth in the event. (Photo courtesy of Tim Fuchs and TFC Photography)

The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team had tremendous success during back-to-back rodeos in Iowa over the weekend. 

Members competed at the Iowa Central Community College Triton Stampede in Fort Dodge, Iowa on Sept. 28-29 then at the Iowa State University Cyclone Stampede in Ames, Iowa on Sept. 30-Oct. 1. 

MPCC ended up with five first place finishes, including the men's team championship at Iowa State. The men's team also placed third at Iowa Central. The women's team split third, fourth and fifth at Iowa State. 


Garrett Wickett, of Norfolk, rides his bull to a second place finish at the Iowa Central Community College Triton Stampede in Fort Dodge, Iowa on Sept. 29. He won the event two days later in Ames, Iowa. (Photos courtesy of Tim Fuchs and TFC Photography)

Individual results are as follows: 

Iowa Central Rodeo: 

Tie-down roping:

  • First - Riley Weehler, Maloy, Iowa 

Bull riding: 

  • Second - Garrett Wickett, Norfolk 

Team roping: 

  • Third - Wyatt Killion, Ainsworth 

Steer wrestling: 

  • Third - Sawyer Strand, Harrisburg, S.D. 
  • Fifth - JT Bradley, Brewster 

Barrel racing: 

  • Fifth - Masen Maher, Hamburg, Iowa 

Iowa State Rodeo: 

Bull riding: 

  • First - Garrett Wickett, Norfolk 

Tie-down roping: 

  • First - JT Bradley, Brewster 
  • Fifth - Riley Weehler, Maloy, Iowa 

Steer wrestling: 

  • First - Sawyer Strand – Harrisburg, S.D. 
  • Second - Tyler Murray, McCook 
  • Sixth - Austin Jensen, Walton 

Team roping: 

  • Third - Rhett O'Connor, McCook 

Saddle Bronc: 

  • Third - Wyatt Kunkee, Lexington 

Barrel racing: 

  • Fourth - Samantha Vontleeder, Ainsworth 
  • Fifth - Shania Macomber, Whitman 

"Overall, I'm really happy with how our team did," said Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach. "The upperclassmen really showed their experience and aggression over the weekend, and freshman JT Bradley placed at both rodeos, so kudos to him. He has proven he's going to be a big part of the team."  

JT Bradley_small.jpg

JT Bradley, of Brewster, chases a calf in the tie-down roping at the Iowa Central Community College Triton Stampede on Sept. 29. He won the event a couple days later in Ames, Iowa. (Photo courtesy of Tim Fuchs and TFC Photography)

MPCC Rodeo Team rough stock coach Dustin Elliott was also pleased with how the team did overall, but thinks it could do even better. 

"I still feel we aren't performing to our full potential," said Elliott. "I like the doubleheader format in Iowa because it's like pro rodeo where you compete more than once a weekend. I'm pleased that we performed better the second rodeo. That shows me these kids will not let defeat affect the next run. We've had some good practices and hopefully will finish in Fargo even stronger." 

The fall rodeos will wrap up in Fargo, N.D. on Oct. 13-14. North Dakota State University will host the competition. 

1 - 10Next

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​