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BCC trustees approve new hires; meet with foundation president
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The hiring of Barton Community College’s head women’s basketball coach became official Thursday when the college’s Board of Trustees approved new employees.

Darin Spence has been on the job for several days, and BCC Athletic Director Trevor Rolfs acknowledged the appointment two weeks ago, "pending board approval on Aug. 18." It isn’t unusual for new employees at the college to start getting organized before their contract is approved. Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said the work done prior of Thursday’s meeting was done "without a contract and without pay."

The week or two Spence donated gave him a chance to prepare for his new responsibilities and also allowed Barton administrators to see the prospective employee at work. "It can be helpful," Heilman said.

Spence wasn’t the only person hired Thursday. The board also approved the following new employees on the Barton County campus: Jordan Smith as a communications instructor and debate coach; Sarah Emerson and Bill Spece as academic tutors; Brooke Thompson as the fitness facilities & athletic recruiting coordinator; and Grady Bolding as a data special. For Barton’s Fort Riley area, the board approved hiring Brandon Maxwell, military programs coordinator; and Tiffany Irizarry, academic adviser.

Barton trustees also met with Gary Burke, president of the BCC Foundation Board of Directors, during Thursday’s meeting. "The Foundation started two years before the college opened," Burke said. It is a separate, nonprofit organization that exists "to support the academic endeavors of the college." With the help of Darnell Holopirek, BCC’s director of institutional advancement (and her staff), the Foundation’s latest capital campaign is to raise $500,000 to renovate the Fine Arts Auditorium and create scholarships for fine arts programs.

Holopirek said since the effort was launched on April 18 with the "Dancing with the Barton Stars" event, they have raised about $75,000 for the auditorium and over $30,000 for scholarships.

BCC trustees and foundation board members will share a meal at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Cavanaugh Room of the college’s Learning Resource Center.