Heilman attends Fort Riley Uncasing Ceremony
By Staff and Wire reports
FORT RILEY — Fort Riley’s 1st Infantry Division formally unfurled its flag Thursday morning, after its headquarters returned from a yearlong deployment to southern Iraq. The division was responsible for coordinating the transition of authority to local Iraqi leaders as U.S. forces prepare to leave the country, the Associated Press reports.
Gov. Sam Brownback attended the so-called uncasing ceremony at King Field House, as well as Sen. Pat Roberts, KMAN radio reported. Brownback expressed his delight toward the troop’s safe return, stating, "It’s significant for us ... and as governor I am delighted to have them back in the area."
Dr. Carl Heilman, president of Barton Community College, also attended the ceremony. Barton offers soldiers a vocational-technical training program and provides other services for the military community through its Fort Riley campus and online.
Heilman explained the purpose of the uncasing ceremony was to recognize the service, accomplishments and safe return of some 450 military staff. Commanding Major General Vincent Brooks addressed the crowd.
The Board of Trustees at Barton Community College on Thursday approved hiring Stephanie Joiner as the new head cheerleading coach, quickly replacing Debbie Warren.
Trustee Don Learned praised the choice, commenting, "Her background’s fantastic." Learned noted there have been several letters to the editor of the Great Bend Tribune protesting the decision to fire long-time coach Warren last month. "Some have said the program is dead in the water (without Warren)." With a qualified replacement at the helm, that does not have to be the case, Learned suggested.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said a search began after Warren was terminated, and Joiner was among those whose resumes rose to the top. "We’re very fortunate she was a local resident as well." Joiner has been serving as the executive director of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, but she was cheerleading captain at Oklahoma State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in 2002. She later served as OSU’s head cheerleading coach and travel coordinator. Joiner moved to Kansas and earned a master’s degree in English instruction at Pittsburg State University in 2006, and in 2007 was the executive director of the Pittsburg YMCA’s academy of dance. In 2008 she was head coach of PSU’s Crimson & Gold dance team.
With Joiner on board more than 40 team members can continue in the cheerleading program, Heilman said. "There’s not been any interruption of service."
Three other new employees were approved by the trustees Thursday. Dr. Oleg Ravitskiy was hired as a life sciences instructor, and Jared Grillot was hired as an academic tutor, both on the Barton County campus. Courtney Mercado was hired as a customer service representative in the Fort Riley area.
In other business, the trustees approved two new Ends statements, concerning strategic planning and the college’s service areas. These statements define the course of college policy, and the board receives periodic monitoring reports. For example, college service regions are to be compatible with the mission of Barton Community College, and service regions will minimize local tax reliance.
Trustees also approved a change in the board’s meeting schedule. In lieu of the February Study Session on Feb. 3, the board will travel to Topeka to meet with legislators on Feb. 8, 9, or 10. And in lieu of the March 3 Study Session, the board will hold a retreat at Junction City and Fort Riley on March 4.