Great Bend Middle School Principal David Reiser, Central Plains School District Superintendent Steve Woolf and Dodge City High School Principal Jacque Feist have at least three things in common.
First, they’re all administrators at Kansas public schools.
Second, they’re all good at their jobs. They have each earned a Principal of the Year award, among others.
Third, they all attended Barton Community College after high school.
"When you think of the quality of people who go to Barton Community College, it’s not like they show up because they have nowhere better to go – David, Jacque and I all could have gone to a four-year college and done very well for ourselves," Woolf said. "It’s just that we knew the quality of people who were at BCC. Plus, the hours you can get at BCC are amazing. I’m amazed at what they’re able to do."
Feist agreed, saying BCC put her on the correct career path.
"I had an excellent experience with my instructors. The experience I had at Barton is what community colleges are all about," Feist said. "There was a community focus in the smaller setting. There was more intimate interaction with students and, as a result, I felt very prepared to continue my educational experience.
"It’s because of Barton that I chose to go into education."
Reiser, who most recently won a Principal of the Year Award, echoed Feist’s comments.
"Barton Community College provided me a good, solid foundation for when I went on to a four-year college," he said.
Diving deeper into why BCC was a common denominator among the three administrators, Woolf offered some clarity with an insight into the purpose-driven nature of BCC’s faculty.
"The experience I had with the teachers, with Rick Bealer and Paul Biays, were huge for me," he said. "We were treated like we’re not little kids anymore. I realized I am a human being, and they cared about what we thought as people."
"When you think of the best teacher you ever had, you don’t think, ‘boy, they can really diagram a sentence,’" he said with a laugh. "Rather, it’s because of two things: you were allowed to know them as human beings and they treated you as human beings, and they cared."