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OJC Press Release ID: 2452

Monday, January 11, 2016

OJC Name Employees of the Year

Otero Junior College is proud to announce the faculty and staff members who have been named Employees of the Year. Three categories of employees are recognized each year at OJC for their outstanding service and dedication to the college. Those categories are: faculty, classified and administrator/pro-tech. This year, a new category was added to honor the adjunct faculty member of the year. The honorees are selected by their peers.

This year’s honorees include: Kimi Kelley, Faculty of the Year; Janet Golden, Classified Employee of the Year; Marlene Boettcher, Administrator/Pro-Tech of the Year; and M.J. Romano, Adjunct Faculty of the Year.

Faculty of the Year:

Kimi Kelley has taught literature courses, English composition and developmental education in the areas of reading and writing at OJC for four years.

Kelley’s work ethic goes above and beyond.  She is dedicated to the Writing Lab and providing writing tutors for all students needing help with writing assignments for any course. Her students find her inspiring and knowledgeable. 

Kelley displays great energy and passion for teaching. A bad experience in high school caused Kelley to hate school.  By earning a BA in English and Education and an MA in creative writing, Kelley proved that failures in K-12 education can be overcome.

Her goal is to engage students in order to make education valuable, real and accessible to all.

Classified Employee of the Year:

Janet Golden has been named the Classified Employee of the Year for 2016. She took on the role of administrative assistant in the Physical Plant at OJC one year ago.

“Janet has done an exceptional job at filling her role,” said John Canaday, director of Physical Plant.  “She handles requests that come in and gets information to the crew efficiently. Janet has helped clean up the motor pool and gets people vehicles when they need them.”

Since she began, Golden has taken on extra duties including receiving packages, tracking purchases and organizing deliveries of packages to staff. She has also helped the crew with setting up computer documents, counting inventory and finding parts that need to be ordered.

Administrator/Pro-Tech of the Year:

Marlene Boettcher has served OJC as director of Human Resources for 26 years.  She understands the rules and laws governing colleges and has helped to ensure that OJC works within them.

Boettcher advocates for employees. She is well-respected and people know they can go to her for help in problem-solving, with personnel issues, or just to talk.

“Marlene’s concern and dedication extends beyond a normal work day and week. She continuously works to make OJC a better institution and the people working here better, happier employees,” said Almabeth Kaess, VP of Enrollment Management.

Boettcher’s position requires tough decisions, always with the best interests of the college in mind. Coworkers describe her as cheerful, dedicated and a consummate professional.

Adjunct Faculty of the Year:

M.J. Romano, a pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of La Junta, Romano has taught philosophy and ethics at OJC for five years. 

Romano provides clear, concise instruction.  Knowledgeable in her areas of instruction, Romano uses examples in her courses that students relate to. Both courses she teaches demand critical thinking, which Romano promotes and encourages.

Romano described a situation in which a student in a class was struggling with a family crisis.  The student’s final essay helped promote processing of the tragedy and understanding that the family had the resources within themselves to carry them through.
Romano hopes to continue to grow in her own understanding of the history of ideas and pass on that learning to her students.

In addition to being honored at OJC during the All Staff Meeting last week, each of the honorees will be recognized at a special awards ceremony later in the spring, hosted by the Colorado Community College System in Denver.

Press Release Photo
Kimi Kelley receives the Faculty of the year award from OJC Vice President of Instruction Kim Grimsley and OJC President Jim Rizzuto during the all staff meeting January 7.

Press Release Photo
Janet Golden receives the classified employee of the year award from Jim Rizzuto.

Press Release Photo
M.J. Romano was recognized with the new adjunct faculty of the year award by Grimsley and Rizzuto. Also receiving an award was Marlene Boettcher, who recently retired from OJC. She received the administrator pro/tech employee of the year award.