MCC bestows President's, awards
McCOOK, Neb. — When Walt and Jean Sehnert looked for a town in which to start their own bakery 60 years ago, the town had to be in Nebraska, it had to be “a hub town,” and it had to have a college.
This morning, Walt accepted McCook Community College’s “President’s Award,” saying that largely because of the college, “McCook has been an ideal fit for my family for the past 60 years.”
Walt said, “My hope for the future is that McCook and the college can continue their partnership and unique ‘love affair,’ together making McCook a better place to live, work and play.”
Seventy-seven graduates accepted diplomas, degrees and certificates during commencement. MCC Vice President Andrew Long told graduates that they have worked hard for their college education, “but you have not done it by yourselves,” recognizing the parents, family members, spouses, MCC faculty, MCC administrators and staff, McCook College Foundation and alumni who have provided support throughout their two years at MCC. “You have truly stood on the shoulders of giants who have come before you,” Long said.
One of the faculty singled out for recognition was Tyler Esch, family and consumer science instructor, who was presented the prestigious Dr. Gene A. Budig Outstanding Faculty Award.
This award comes with a $1,000 cash prize
Tyler Esch was born and raised in Southwest Nebraska. After graduating from Republican Valley High School, she completed her Bachelors Degree from Kearney State College with a degree in education. She started her teaching career in Farnam as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. Upon moving back to McCook she completed her Master’s Degree from UNK in vocational education.
Tyler is well-respected throughout the state for her knowledge and skill set in working with young children. She has developed the Early Childhood program at MCC into the successful ECED training site it is today. Over the past 20-plus years, she has mentored many students who are active in the Southwest Nebraska area and across the state as early childhood educators. She is a sought-after presenter in sharing her passion for children often focusing on creativity, play and movement.
“Tyler is a strong advocate for MCC,” said one letter of nomination. “She has led many initiatives to support students including initiating many transfer discussions, promoting night class offerings, and dual credit offerings for McCook High School.”
She is married to Darren Esch and is the mother of three girls: Hailey, a teacher, Hannah, a Fort Hays nursing student and Mackenzie, and education major at Wayne State.
You will often find Tyler giving her time to our community through involvement in school activities, 4H and her church.”
Student speaker Grayce Jorgensen she said she has learned to appreciate the small things in her years at MCC.
“Moments. As I was sitting in my dorm room, trying to come up with just the right words put into this speech, that was the only one that was running through my mind. Our lives are made up of moments. Those moments make up our unique story.
“In my two short years here at McCook Community College, I have learned the value of small moments. When we throw our caps in the air today, and go our separate ways, most of us won’t remember the test we barely passed, or the final we had been dreading all semester. What we will take with us are the small moments where we felt we were a part of something bigger, or learned lessons that will last us a lifetime.
“For example, we all know now that putting water in Easy Mac is a must or you just might have to stand outside while the fire department comes once, or twice, or three times!
“We learned that some classes were easier to fall asleep in than others, and 8 a.m. in college, is WAY different than 8 a.m. in high school.
“And how if you bring one too many dishes into your room after dinner, Ms. Erin WILL come find you and WILL make you return them.
“We’ve all learned that you can’t really guess the amount of steps Fernetti takes during a game, but if you guess high enough you can bet he will be trying to beat that number the next game!
“Although it’s a fact that most of the students here are blessed with an athletic talent, we can’t forget the talent that gets shown every day in the art building. They don’t always get the credit they deserve, but anyone who knows Rick Johnson, knows that any art class has more fun than any sprints, weights, or practice the athletes will endure.
“We all know now that when you have people who have never seen snow before, a school wide snow ball fight will break out the first snowstorm we have.
“We all realized that if you were going to be late to a mandatory floor meeting you probably still would beat most of the rodeo team there.
“We learned that Nebraska weather really does bring something new everyday, and rain dates for baseball and softball games, are usually nicer than the rescheduled date.
“We have learned that no matter how far away you lived, Ms. Erin made this feel like home, being our ‘mom’ and telling us were staying up way too late playing pool or ping pong, and really enforced quite hours when we were studying for finals.
“We all realized that the theater plays we were a little skeptical about going to at first, were hilarious and made our stomach hurt from laughing too hard.
“If you look around the gym, every person here today is here celebrating us, and the accomplishments we’ve made. But none of them get the credit they deserve for being such a big part of our success. All of our accomplishments, wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for your constant support, pushing us to be the best we can be, proof reading papers, late night calls from us asking you to buy pizza with your credit card, various care packages, and every good luck on your finals text. So thank you all, for the endless love and support.
“And on top of our family and friends being there for us, we all had that one professor or faculty member that helped us through whatever curve ball life decided to throw at us that week. We all learned the true meaning of school spirit during the NJC men’s basketball game last year when we won in overtime and every single student stormed the court as goose bumps grew on your skin, showing you just what it means to be an MCC Indian.
“As we all know McCook loves their athletics, each one of the woman’s teams learned the importance of hard work, coming into this year believing in our new coaches, bleeding blue through all the adjustments we made. And you learned that you truly were part of a family when everyone came together to support the Lenhart family during the tough birth of Brandt. One thing or another brought us here to McCook, and while thinking we couldn’t wait until the day we get to leave; we will cherish these moments forever.
“So to the end this I am going to leave you with a quote by Dr. Suess, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So.. Get on your way!” Climb mountains, do things you’ve always dreamed of doing, but most importantly, enjoy the little moments life gives you. Thank you”