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OJC Press Release ID: 3084

Thursday, March 11, 2021

OJC Names Employees of the Year 2020-2021


Otero Junior College is pleased to announce the faculty and staff members who have been named Employees of the Year for 2020-2021. There are four categories of employees that are recognized each year for their outstanding service and dedication to the college. Those categories are: Faculty, Adjunct Instructor, Classified and Administrator. Each represent the unique talents, skills, perspectives, and heart needed to deliver high quality post-secondary education and workforce training, supportive services, and safe environments to students each and every day.

This year’s honorees are Becky Sporrer, faculty of the year; Catherine Bollacker, adjunct faculty of the year; Sarah Petramala, administrative employee of the year; and the Physical Plant Staff, classified employees of the year.

Faculty of the Year

Becky Sporrer, business agriculture faculty member has spent countless hours over the summer and this fall building the AGB 102 course. This includes all of the content material, lesson plans, videos, and making the D2L shell welcoming and user friendly. She was the first one in the state to teach this course. She has spent her career at OJC teaching primarily face-to-face and one-on-one in the ABM program. In April of 2020, she quickly realized that her traditional method of teaching would be altered. With ABM students falling into the non-traditional student category and many living where internet is not reliable, Becky knew she had her work cut out for her this fall on how she would deliver content to students. She has met with students in public locations and outside when possible, facilitated video chats and recorded videos, and held multiple hours of phone conversations. There have been many difficulties, but these difficulties have strengthened Becky’s teaching and delivery of content. Becky serves as the OJC SFAC representative as well as the State ABM Discipline Chair.

Adjunct Faculty of the Year

Catherine Bollacker, is an incredible teacher and a vital part of the MLT/Phlebotomy program at OJC. She instructs with patience and caring and her students always speak highly of her. She goes above and beyond to create ways to make her instruction interesting and relevant. She is constantly improving her classes and students demonstrate understanding and knowledge because of her innovative ideas. As an adjunct, she also volunteers her time to serve the program. She provides documents needed and input and ideas for program improvement. This summer she went above and beyond in preparing documents for accreditation reports for both programs. She also worked tirelessly on instrument problems in the lab. Cathy is so positive and a joy to work with. She is a valuable asset to OJC.

Administrator of the Year

Sarah Petramala has worked at OJC for the past nine years and currently holds the position of Executive Assistant to the President. Her customer service skills are second to none. She knows everyone and everyone knows her. Her interactions with students, faculty, staff, and community members are impressive and always professional. She takes great pride to ensure that patrons feel valued and heard. Sarah also willingly accepts additional duties without complaint. This past year has been a challenge for many, however Sarah has found additional technical resources to support campus, and is willing to help others learn, so the business of serving students can continue. As an OJC alumni, Sarah bleeds Otero blue and possesses a relentless commitment to our college. We wish to honor her dedication and willingness to sacrifice for the good of the institution.

Classified Employees of the Year

Tom Archuleta, Jacob Clarke, Vicki Florez, Irma Freidenberger, Ted Freidenberger, Randy Fritz, David Girard, Janet Golden, Jacob Liming, Ernie Martinez, Leroy Martinez, Justin Miell, Garrett Palmer, Kurt Paugh, Pat Reed, Felipe Salazar, Joe Talmich and Casey Weaver.

This group of Physical Plant Staff has gone above and beyond the normal call to duty since the pandemic outbreak began in Jan. 2020. They have been committed to maintaining a safe and virus free Campus at Otero Junior College and, as a result of their efforts, the College has had minimal instances of COVID 19 infections, the majority of which have been attributed to outside sources. The entire staff have worked tirelessly within all facilities as well as outside on the grounds to mitigate the chances of the coronavirus wreaking havoc among our students and staff. We have invested in many varieties of personal protective apparel and disinfecting equipment that this staff have embraced and learned how to most effectively utilize to assist with keeping the Campus as free as possible from the pandemic infections. They have taken on these responsibilities in addition to their normal job assignments. Working normal shifts plus additional time if needed, these staff members have continued to perform their normal work-loads full time on Campus in that it is impossible for their work to be completed in some sort of remote manner. As a result of the Classified Physical Plant staff’s extraordinary performance over the past ten months, we wholeheartedly believe they deserve this collective Employee of the Year award.

In addition to being celebrated at OJC, honorees received a personalized award and signed letter from Joe Garcia, the Chancellor at the Colorado Community College System (CCCS).

Press Release Photo
Otero Junior College recently selected its 2020-2021 employees of the year and the Colorado Community College System recognized them with a video presentation on March 10. They are: (l-r) Becky Sporrer, faculty of the year; Catherine Bollacker, adjunct faculty of the year; and Sarah Petramala, administrator of the year.

Press Release Photo
The OJC Physical Plant was recognized as a group as Classified Employees of the Year. They have been an integral presence on campus since the start of COVID-19 and have kept OJC afloat. Physical Plant staff members pictured are: back row (l-r) Randy Fritz, Casey Weaver, Felipe Salazar, Jacob Liming, David Girard, Garrett Palmer, Ted Freidenberger, and Joe Talmich. Front row (l-r) Janet Golden, Ernie Martinez, Vicki Florez, Irma Freidenberger and Pat Reed.