The 2011 Kansas Department of Corrections Employees and Volunteer of the Year were announced by Governor Sam Brownback and KDOC Secretary Ray Roberts today during special ceremonies at the Kansas Statehouse. Employees were nominated for each of the awards by their peers and the winners were chosen by a special panel from the KDOC Central Office. Here is a list of the winners and a brief synopsis for each:
Uniformed Employee of the Year – Wayne Leffel, Corrections Specialist I at the Winfield Correctional Facility. Since joining the KDOC in 2001, Master Sgt. Leffel has steadily risen through the ranks to tactical officer for SORT and the security supervisor of the WCF Inmate Details program. He has improved the efficiency and performance of the program while also promoting the facility’s reputation in the community.
Non-uniformed Employee of the Year – Fara Carson, R3 Coordinator at the El Dorado Correctional Facility. After 20 years with the KDOC, Fara continues to acquire new skills and encourages her staff to do the same. She has aided in restructuring the RDU process, spearheaded efforts to expand “Thinking for a Change” instruction and assisted in implementing the Strengthening Kids of Incarcerated Parents program.
Contract Employee of the Year – Dr. Dennis J. Kepka, Correct Care Solutions, at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility. Staff and inmates most admire Dr. Kepka for his willingness to listen to others and his desire to go above and beyond the call of duty. Many times he reports to ECF after hours and on holidays to care for inmates. He is known as ECF’s “Clinic Hero” because of this dedication.
Volunteer of the Year – Dale Hetzler, Hutchinson Correctional Facility. An HCF volunteer for more than a decade, Dale has consistently exceeded expectations. He is a former inmate who has worked hard to show offenders that change and success are possible. He was recently named an R3 Mentor.