Vicki Rethmeier and Jeannette Bean were honored April 21 as recipients of the Wekesser Outstanding Teacher and Staff awards at Southeast Community College’s Lincoln Campus.
Rethmeier is a Food Service/Hospitality program instructor, and Bean is a Library Resource Center specialist. Each received $500, a plaque, their names inscribed on a permanent plaque in a campus display case, and a balloon bouquet.
Rethmeier has been employed at SCC since October 2008.
“This award reinforces that what I do every day at SCC has an impact,” Rethmeier said. “The students and the opportunities to learn from each other motivate me to come to work each day.”
She also was grateful to SCC employees who helped her along the way.
“I am fortunate to be a part of Southeast Community College,” she said. “This award speaks to the talents of the many remarkable people who helped me along this journey, and I thank them.”
Bean began full-time employment in the Lincoln Campus library on Sept. 1, 2004. She spent the previous 10 years working part-time in the library.
“I am truly humbled by this award,” Bean said. “I never expected any award for doing the work I love. Just being nominated by my fellow co-workers is an honor in itself. There are many fellow employees who do outstanding work but are never recognized. I feel especially blessed to have won this award.”
Bean said working with a “great staff” motivates her to come to work each day.
“Helping students, faculty and staff with their various needs also motivates me to come to work,” Bean said. “Hearing from students that they received a good grade on a research project because I was available to guide them in finding resources is very rewarding.”
Other faculty nominees were Amanda Baron, chair of the Arts & Sciences Division Humanities program; Pat Galitz, Business Administration instructor; Todd Johnson, Business Administration instructor; Bonnie Malcolm, Office Professional instructor; and Rose Pollard, Business Administration distance instructor.
Other staff nominees were Mary Gordon, Financial Aid administrative assistant I; Rodney Gustafson, Information Services information systems technician; Donna Osterhoudt, Arts & Sciences Division administrative assistant I; and Jessica Vetter, Arts & Sciences Division administrative assistant I.
Gerrine Schreck-Kirby, a colleague of Rethmeier’s in the Food Service/Hospitality program, said Rethmeier was a “loyal, devoted employee to the College, but even more devoted to the students.”
“Vicki can get students excited about the topic at hand with her contagious smile and endless enthusiasm,” Schreck-Kirby said in nominating Rethmeier. “She is friendly, understanding and sympathetic, but makes her students accountable, many times without them even knowing it.”
Seanna Yeager, an LRC specialist who works alongside Bean, said her co-worker “goes beyond the call of duty” at her position in the Lincoln Campus Library Resource Center.
“She takes the time to get to know students and staff,” Yeager said. “She encourages others through whatever problem they are experiencing.”
In fall 1979, Robert and Edith Wekesser established a fund in SCC’s Educational Foundation to recognize people for outstanding service to the Lincoln Campus.