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BCC holds 51st commencement ceremony
Barton students celebrate throughout the 51st annual commencement ceremony.

Barton Community College recognized outstanding graduates, exceptional faculty and student ambassadors of the year Friday with the college’s 51st commencement.

The ceremony was shorter than usual this year, with no official guest speaker. The number of guests was also limited but live-stream video was available.

After brief comments from Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman, Vice President of Student Services Angie Maddy presented the 2021 Outstanding Graduates. Vice President of Instruction Elaine Simmons presented Distinguished Instructor Awards, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mike Johnson and Simmons conferred the degrees.

Developmental Education Instructor Abby Howe presented the graduates as Dr. Heilman extended the college’s official congratulations on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

John Hembree led the invocation and benediction.

For photos, visit

Outstanding Student Awards

Elvia Alejandra Salazar Beck of El Paso, Texas and Kaitlynn Dyke of Cimarron were named Barton Community College’s 2021 Outstanding Graduates. Dean of Student Services Angie Maddy recognized them as part of the ceremony. 

Beck grew up in Baumholder, Germany and resided in Great Bend while attending Barton’s nursing program. She is the daughter of Yadira and Leonardo Salazar of El Paso, Texas and is married to Christopher Beck. While attending Barton, she has served as President of the Barton Nursing Club, Co-Community Service Chair for Barton’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and a member of Barton’s non-traditional student honor society, Alpha Sigma Lambda. She began her educational journey with Barton at the Fort Riley campus, where she also served as a volunteer tutor for English as a Second Language (ESL) students. While attending college, she worked as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) and eventually as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at the University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus and at QS Nurses. She plans to work as a registered nurse in a residency program while continuing her education in pursuit of her Bachelor of Science in nursing. Her eventual career goal is to serve as an operating room nurse. 

Dyke is the daughter of Keri and Donald Dyke of Cimarron. While attending Barton, she has participated in Barton’s chapter of the PTK National Honor Society as well as Community Student organization/SPARK. She has served as a student ambassador with the Admissions Department, a student athletic trainer, and has brought joy near and far via her alter ego, Bart the mascot, for numerous college activities and campus special events.

She will transfer to Kansas State University this fall, where she will work toward her bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training. Her longer-term educational goals include earning a master’s degree in Athletic Training.

Distinguished Instructor Awards

Four Barton instructors earned the Distinguished Instructor Award for the 2020-2021 academic year for their efforts in the classroom. 

The winners are:

• Paulia Bailey – College Advantage and BARTonline

• Melissa Hardwick – Fort Riley Campus

• Ann Ingala – Fort Leavenworth Campus

• Maggie Tracy – Barton County Campus

The Distinguished Instructor Award recognizes teaching excellence. Faculty members are nominated by their peers and then evaluated by a committee including Barton students, a previous Distinguished Instructor Award recipient, members of the Barton Foundation, Board of Trustees and community members. The committee considers each instructor’s contributions to teaching and learning, the college mission and the community. 

A plaque reflecting the names of the award recipients is displayed in Barton’s Office of Instruction located in the Science Building.