Special Night for Inspiring and Dedicated Employees

Annual Employment & Retirement Dinner on Castlegar Campus


The backbone of Selkirk College took centre stage at the end of May for the annual Employee Recognition & Retirement Dinner on the Castlegar Campus.

The springtime tradition falls after classes let out, graduation is complete and the clamour in the campus hallways fades. It’s a time to honour all those who put students first and change lives on a daily basis.

“This is the one event when we get to recognize our employees for all the truly outstanding work they do in so many ways,” said Selkirk College President Angus Graeme.

R&R Kanigan

Susan Kanigan was one of the Selkirk College team members recognized for long service having worked at the college for 25 years.

Outstanding Educators and Long Service Employees

Held in the Staff Lounge, the evening started by recognizing this year’s NISOD Excellence Award winners. Established in 1991, the NISOD awards shine a light on staff who demonstrate an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) is based in Texas with community and technical college members across North America. This year’s Selkirk College NISOD Excellence Award winners include Dave Briggeman, Linda Clark, Lynda Mears, Bert Peters, Tiffany Snauwaert and Brendan Wilson.

R&R Wilson

Brendan Wilson was one of six Selkirk College educators who recieved NISOD Award.

Next, recognition of service to the college was highlighted with pins handed out for 35 years (John Chernenkoff), 30 years (Joanne van der Ham and Sally Glock), 25 years (Kim Barker, Jackie Belza, Carol Chernenkoff, Angus Graeme, Robert Jmaiff, Susan Kanigan, Milane Kutcher, Nella Mitchell, Debbie Oslund, Bert Peters, Brenda Smith and Geoff Tellier), and 20 years (Neil Coburn, Tracy King, Jim Leitch, Allison Lutz, Janet Mayr, Gail Potter, Harry Pringle, Christine Popoff, Shana Rablah, Delia Roberts and Pete Schroder).

A Well-Deserved Retirement for Special Group

Finally, the retirees were recognized for their contribution to the college with emotional speeches by colleagues and the retirees themselves. On the list were Linda Clark, Carol Erikson, Joleen Kinakin, Paul Landsberg, Dawn Lang, Gary Leier, Cathy Mercer, Mary Ann Morris, Kate Pelletier, Bert Peters, Delia Roberts, Julie Robertson, Paul Stooshnoff and Monica Vogler.

“Wherever she was required to go, Joleen was right there,” Cathy Mercer said about Joleen Kinakin, who first started at the college in 1988 and spent time in multiple departments including word processing, book shop, finance, switchboard, cashier, buyer, financial aid and finally donor/alumni relations. “She helped remove barriers for students who wanted to attend college. She was welcoming, connected, caring, resourceful, student focused and student-centred. Joleen was living her passion in helping students.”

R&R Retirees

Retirees who came to the dinner included: (L-R) Cathy Mercer, Linda Clark, Dawn Lang, Mary Ann Morris, Gary Leier, Carol Erikson and Joleen Kinakin.

Graeme introduced Mercer who is currently completing a 37-year career at the college that started humbly and evolved into the key leadership position of Vice President of Students and Advancement/Registrar.

“I took a step into every opportunity that was given to me,” Mercer said when she had the chance to speak. “It’s truly been my privilege to share in all the stories and accomplishments of colleagues and students.”

Selkirk College Director of HR Arleen Gallo said the night is a highlight of the year and thanked all those involved in making it happen.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the employees who were recognized for long term service and the retirees,” said Gallo. “It was wonderful to have the room filled with so many past and present employees who have been such an important part of transforming the lives of our students for so many years. I would like to thank the cafeteria staff that provided a beautiful meal and the many hands that helped make the event so enjoyable.”


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