LARNED — The Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility (LJCF) formally recognized the employees and volunteer of the quarter for the months of January, February, and March, 2015 — Becky Carter, Non-Uniformed Employee of the Quarter; Ric Loiland, Uniformed Employee of the Quarter; Kathy Schneider, Contract Employee of the Quarter; and LeeRoy Charvat, Volunteer of the Quarter.
These individuals were selected from nominations submitted by their peers; nominees are chosen based upon factors including job performance, dependability, competence, initiative, work ethic, and achievement.
Becky Carter, Corrections Counselor II, was selected as the Non-Uniformed Employee of the Quarter.
Carter’s nomination noted her belief that all staff can make a difference in the lives of youth, and her work reflects that conviction.
“She seems to understand the challenges the residents face, yet she holds them accountable for their actions,” the nomination read. “As someone who has worked at LJCF for many years, Becky has shown that she can be depended upon to teach program classes to youth, to mentor new employees, or to brainstorm ideas to improve facility operations.”
Carter began her employment with the State of Kansas in 1975, working in a temporary position within the Activity Therapy Department at the Larned State Hospital.
The following year, she applied for an Activity Therapy position at LJCF, and has been working with youth ever since. Becky promoted to supervisor of the AT department, and in addition to her AT duties, she also served many other roles, including group leader, staff trainer, and treatment team leader. Currently, she is the corrections counselor and team leader of the Mann Unit. She also serves as the chairman of the LJCF Green Team, leading the facility’s recycling efforts.
Carter is a firm believer that it takes everyone in the facility to promote change in youth.
“In order to create change, you need a safe and clean environment,” she said. “Youth must have good food, medical services, spiritual and emotional support, along with opportunities to learn and grow through schooling, and to grow physically and socially. When there is balance in a youth’s life, he is more willing to talk and work on change; then, staff have of way of maximizing that individual’s potential to change. For every problem a youth has, there is also a strength or talent. It’s easy to see problems, but it’s hard to pull out the strength or something good in a person. Once you recognize the positive in someone, you start seeing and creating the change — and that is neat to see.”
Carter is an avid golfer, who also enjoys vegetable gardening and working outside. She has three brothers, with whom she plays golf at courses across the state. She is a college football fanatic and enjoys attending games to support her Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Ric Loiland, Juvenile Corrections Officer I, was selected as the Uniformed Employee of the Quarter.
Since Officer Loiland began work at LJCF in December of last year, he has shown great dedication and competence. Once he ended his on-the-job-training, he immediately became a key staff member on the 2-10 shift.
His nomination reports that “he needs very little direction to get the job done, and he asks questions if he needs help. Furthermore, he is always willing to rearrange his days off to help with coverage. Many staff have noted the calming effect he has on the units where he is assigned, due largely to the verbal de-escalation skills, rapport, and respect he has developed and continues to develop with the youth and his co-workers.”
In 2012, Ric and his family moved from Oregon back to Macksville to be close to his family.
Since he started at LJCF, Loiland said he has been welcomed and it feels like a big family.
“I couldn’t ask for a better place to work,” he said. “I have learned a lot and I am still learning. Also, I want to thank the 2-10 shift employees for all the support and wisdom that they have given me. I couldn’t ask for a better team to work with.”
Loiland enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
Kathy Schneider, Registered Nurse Senior, was selected as the Contract Employee of the Quarter.
Schneider was noted to be one of LJCF’s most dependable employees, rarely using sick leave and managing her time off in a judicious and appropriate manner. With a state career of over 35 years, she has seen numerous changes; she uses this experience to encourage others to embrace and to overcome challenges. She consistently proves herself an excellent role model, providing quality nursing care and offering sound advice and judgement. With her keen judgement and experience in working in a correctional/psychiatric setting, she provides useful interventions which garner respect from even the most troubled youth. She is friendly, collaborative, and trustworthy; her positive attitude is infectious, and she makes it a joy to come to work.
Schneider has been in nursing since 1977, beginning as an aide. She started employment with the state of Kansas in March of 1990 at the Larned State Hospital. She received her LPN and ADN, then went back to school for her BSN, graduating in 2011. She accepted her current Registered Nurse Senior position at LJCF in January of 2013, and she says she loves working with her fellow staff and the youth.
Kathy and her husband, Bob, have been married for over 35 years; they have six children and eight grandchildren. Kathy enjoys getting together with her friends and family, making cards, taking care of flowers, and visiting with her parents, Jerome and Maggie Gerstenkorn. She is active in her church and assists with school activities for her youngest child, who lives at home.
LeeRoy Charvat was selected as the Volunteer of the Quarter.
As a leader in the Christian Motorcyclists Association section of the volunteer group at LJCF, Charvat has been actively involved in sending new volunteer recruits to the facility. He serves as a primary moral ‘rock’ to the youth residents who need solid mentors. As someone who models exemplary behavior, he continues to show patience and understanding with the youth who attend the weekly sessions with questions and concerns.
LeeRoy and his wife, Rose, are among the most popular volunteers among the residents needing that extra family support. Functioning something like a virtual ‘big brother,’ his opinions, advice, and direction are sought after and valued. LJCF sincerely appreciates their volunteerism and the hours spent making such a difference to our youth!
“I am truly honored having been chosen as the LJCF Volunteer of the Quarter,” Charvat said. “My wife and I have been involved in prison ministry since 2000, when we first headed up the Motorcycle Poker Run to help raise money for the Spiritual Life Center that was built on the grounds at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility.
“My wife deserves the credit for us becoming involved at LJCF over the past 2½ years. Rose said this is something she would like to get involved with, having taught school for 30 years and the last 10 of those in special needs, so I agreed. Over the years the saying The Lord works in mysterious ways has sure been true in my life.
“You don’t have to go to a foreign country to do mission work; it’s right here. I enjoy coming and visiting with the boys, even if it’s just for a short time each week. I pray that something I said or an answer I give would be an encouragement to them in hope of getting their life turned around.
“It’s been a blessing to me, my wife, and the others who participate in this program to have played a small part in what’s happening at LJCF. Thanks again for having chosen me for the honor.”