Butler Community College Life Enrichment to Host Documentary Producer, Author

El DORADO, Kansas – Butler Community College’s Life Enrichment will host Sara Harmon and KelLee Parr on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 9 a.m. Harmon will show her documentary at 9 a.m. and Parr will present on “Adoption Hub of America” at 10 a.m.Both presentations will be held in the Hubbard Welcome Center at Butler’s El Dorado campus.

Harmon wrote and produced For Your Amusement: The Wonderland Park on Ackerman Island. This short documentary tells the short-lived story of the first amusement park in Wichita, located on an island in the middle of the Arkansas River. The attraction brought in thousands of tourists and was a staple form of entertainment before automobiles, strict Sunday laws, and World War I led to its demise. The film won “Best Kansas Documentary” at the 2019 Doc Sunback Film Festival. Following the success of “For Your Amusement,” more information has emerged about this seemingly obscure attraction. Harmon has been in contact with living family members of relatives associated with the park. She also discovered the park had a second life in El Dorado.

Parr will present “Adoption Hub of America.” Parr was raised on a farm in Northeast Kansas and loves his rural roots. He has worked as an ag missionary in Guatemala, county extension ag and 4-H agent in Kansas, third grade teacher for many years, educational consultant, and adjunct professor. He currently helps write science curriculum for elementary students. His first book My Little Valentine,” is about his mother’s adoption and the search for her birth mother after 66 years of separation. Parr’s second book Mansion on a Hill is about The Willows Maternity Sanitarium in Kansas City where his mother was born. In his quest to learn more about his mother’s adoption, he became fascinated with the history behind The Willows and Kansas City being known as the “Adoption Hub of America.” 

Life Enrichment meets on the first Tuesday morning of the month during the school year. Area adults enjoy high-quality speakers and performers, along with a light breakfast and coffee during each regular meeting. Meetings take place in the Clifford/Stone Community Room at the Hubbard Welcome Center on the El Dorado campus. Meetings are open to everyone and there is no charge to attend. Those who attend regularly are encouraged to register so they receive monthly newsletters announcing the programs. New members are always welcome.

For more information about Life Enrichment or the November 5program, please contact Trisha Walls at 316-218-6355 or twalls@butlercc.edu.

BEST Team Holds Interactive Expo

The Business Education Strategic Team (BEST) held an interactive Career Expo on Wednesday, October 9th at the 4H Building in El Dorado. 

The BEST Career Expo was held at the Butler County Community Building on October 9th
The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce hosted the event in partnership with area businesses.

The event was designed to provide high school students with the opportunity to engage in the interactive exploration of careers and industry.  It was a collaboration between the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, both El Dorado and Circle High Schools, local businesses, the Workforce Centers and Butler Community College. 

High school students had the exclusive opportunity to engage in hands on-learning until 3:30pm at which time college students, parents, and the general public were welcomed.

“Being able to align business needs with corresponding educational pathways is important, and a primary goal of the BEST committee,” said Teresa Bergen, committee chair.

According to a report from Worldwide Interactive Network, Inc. (WIN) a career readiness resource organization, “In many states, education, economic development and workforce development policy largely function separate from one another.  As separate sets of policy, they often conflict and, consequently, do not maximize their impact on the overall economic health of a state or region. States should align these three policy areas into a single strategy they term the ‘Educonomy.’” 

Furthermore, the WIN report stated that understanding a region’s educonomy requires “identifying business and industry talent needs, understanding the current and emerging occupational and job-specific skills that are in demand, and take an inventory of the quantity and quality of people willing and able to seek employment in critical occupations.”

Some of the area employers participating in the expo included: 

Butler Community College

Susan B. Allen Memorial

Kansas Department of Transportation

Flinthills Services, Inc.

BG Products


Butler Electric Cooperative

Homestead Assisted Living & Memory Care

Kansas State University Global Campus

Hogoboom Oil Field Trucking

Everyday El Dorado


SERC Physical Therapy


Kansas Department of Corrections

Emprise Bank

Dustrol, Inc.

Stanfield Roofing

Mary Kay


Pro Kleen

Beran Concrete


Miss Frontier Promotes Foreign Language Education 

While fans of the PBS drama “Downton Abbey” prepare for its big screen debut and the arrival of the Queen, another type of queen has arrived on campus, with much less fanfare.  The newly crowned Miss Frontier, Naomi Galindo, has also gained a new title – Butler Grizzly.  

Miss Frontier 2019 Naomi Galindo appeared before the City Commission to promote the HollyFrontier Western Celebration as one of her first duties.  Photo by Deanna Bonn 

Galindo began classes this fall at Butler and aims to eventually earn a Ph.D. in Linguistics.  She currently speaks three languages, French, English and Spanish and has started learning Russian this semester. 

“I’m planning to attend KU and major in Russian/East European/Central Asian studies with a minor in political science ,” Galindo said.

While you may think it’s her crown and sash that set her apart from the average student, it’s actually her social initiative and personal passion of promoting Foreign Language Education for Grades K-12.  

Miss Frontier 2019 Naomi Galindo. Photo by Jennifer West

As Miss Frontier, Galindo will have many opportunities to share her platform and help raise awareness for the importance of Foreign Language Education for students from kindergarten through high school.  

The Miss Frontier pageant is a part of the HollyFrontier Western Celebration and is held annually in El Dorado.  The young woman crowned each year serves an ambassador to the celebration and they go on to represent the community through a variety of volunteer opportunities and appearances. 

Galindo said, “I’m a huge fan of Miss Universe and so I found out that we had a local pageant and I decided to compete.”  

Many young women participate in pageants as a way to help pay for school.  Many pageant systems provide scholarship money or partner with colleges to provide in-kind scholarships.  Through her participation in pageants, Galindo has started college debt-free and plans to continue competing to earn more scholarships.  She previously held the titles of Miss Teen Frontier 2017 and Miss Teen El Dorado 2018.  

Galindo said, “I would like to promote my platform, keep developing myself and my platform. I would also like to compete in the Miss Kansas pageant.” 
As a result of winning the title of Miss Frontier, Galindo has the opportunity to participate in the Miss Kansas Competition.  The Miss Kansas Competition is a part of the Miss America Organization and participation in that program opens the doors to even more scholarships.     

According to the Miss America Organization, “The Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of scholarship assistance to young women.” 

The Miss Kansas Scholarship Program is for young women age 17-25 years old. 

According to the Miss Kansas Organization, through their participation in the program, young women earn more than scholarship awards for college.  They gain community service experience as well as experience in speaking extemporaneously.   

They learn to formulate and present their views on important issues.  They grow in grace while improving social skills. They learn to set goals and work toward physical fitness and they learn to build a network while meeting new people with confidence and security.

The young women who participate in the Miss Kansas Scholarship Program gain experience in planning and time management as well as developing a performance talent.  Galindo’s talent is singing and she performed a song in Croatian at Miss Frontier. 

Galindo’s reign will be marked by a year of service.  In addition to multiple opportunities to volunteer, she will advocate for a personal platform, also known as a social initiative.  A social initiative is a project developed by the individual and acts as catalysts for positive social change.  

Galindo’s social initiative is promoting Foreign Language Education for Grades K-12.  Additionally, Galindo wants to encourage other young women to compete for scholarships. 

“This year I’m working on recruiting girls for the Miss and Teen Division to get them involved with the pageant.  There are a lot of opportunities such as winning a scholarship, gaining confidence and developing friendships,” Galindo said. 

While the next Miss Kansas Competition is not until June 2020, Galindo will be busy with her classes at Butler Community College and her royal duties as Miss Frontier.



Luxury Car Repair Training Comes to Butler Community College

El Dorado, Kan. – The premiere car maker, Volvo, and Butler Community College officially collaborated in August in an effort to strengthen the auto mechanic workforce and develop a pipeline for the car company. The agreement was made possible in part by Eddy’s Volvo Cars of Wichita, serving as the sponsoring dealership, and Volvo’s Car University Program designed to embed Volvo system technology into top accredited auto tech programs in the country.

The new 2019 Volvo S60 will be available to Butler students for class practice. The car is a part of the hands-on approach in the new Volvo’s Car University Program curriculum.  (Photo courtesy of Volvo Car Group Global Newsroom)

Volvo Cars issued this statement, “Volvo Car University supports local Volvo retailers in developing the next generation of technicians by facilitating training, tools and vehicle availability at local colleges and educational institutions.”

Butler Community College is proud to be one of the first collegiate Volvo Training programs in the country. Butler’s faculty will be trained in the latest Volvo technologies, and Butler’s auto tech students will have hands-on access to training from Butler faculty for the premiere technology within Volvo cars. The Volvo curriculum, to be launched this fall and embedded into the existing curriculum, will become standard for all auto tech students at Butler.

All the tools and resources for training purposes will be provided by Eddy’s Volvo Cars of Wichita. The dealership’s Service and Parts Director, Todd Truitt, headed the program and will meet regularly with Mark Jaye, Butler’s auto tech lead instructor, to stay updated on information and training throughout the program’s duration.

“I’m excited about a new partnership with a local community college, and hope it can better equip students interested in the field with a more realistic idea of what they will be facing on a day to day basis,” said Truitt.

The access to the Volvo curriculum and technology enhances the program by broadening student knowledge of luxury cars; knowledge which is typically only accessible through private training facilities. Butler’s Auto Tech Program is located in El Dorado and is certified by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF).

Those interested in Butler’s Auto Tech Program can contact program lead, Mark Jaye, at 316.322.3257or mjaye1@butlercc.edu.

Butler for Butler

Butler for Butler Finds Positive Perceptions of College

Forum Shows Need for More Engagement with Local Leaders, Employers

El Dorado, Kan. – Butler for Butler, a volunteer task force co-chaired by Travis Griffith of Andover, Linda Jolly of El Dorado, Eileen Dreiling of Augusta, and facilitated by Rod Young of Rose Hill, reported its findings to the Butler Community College Board of Trustees in early April. The task force conducted a community-based visioning and planning process for the College. Their work focused on gathering information reflecting the perspective of Butler County residents to help Butler Community College determine how it could be an economic driver, support workforce development and be best positioned to serve students and the local communities.


Butler Community College takes into consideration comments from community forum. The Butler for Butler forum finds positive perceptions of the college, but community members also expressed the need for more engagement with local leaders and employers.

The task force was comprised of Butler County business, civic and community leaders. With the changing landscape in higher education, their work focused on understanding what Butler County residents, employers, and taxpayers want and need for the College to change, innovate, and shift in order to best serve the county as well as the college’s mission and students.

Community focus groups were held in Augusta, Andover and El Dorado.

In addition to the board presentation, Butler for Butler leaders also sent a letter and summary of the findings to all participants of the community sessions, from both the in-person sessions and the online survey.


Some of the key findings shared with Trustees included:

•           Community perceptions of Butler Community College are generally positive

•           Butler has good connections with industry but needs more awareness

•           County residents want more connection to college people and programs

•           Butler is affordable, offers college credit to high school students, and creates local pride

•           Butler needs more engagement and targeted communication with local leaders and employers 

•           In the future, Butler needs to continue to meet workforce needs and remain affordable

•           Continued efforts need to be given to cost/benefit concerns, particularly as they relate to Butler County residents 


The Board has agreed to review the results carefully and consider the information gathered as they update their strategic plan. Butler will continue to share information and engage stakeholders.

“I am grateful to our local leaders who volunteered their time to manage this project for the future of our college,” said Dr. Kim Krull, Butler Community College president. “I am equally grateful to those who took the time to participate in the Butler for Butler visioning sessions and share their thoughts. Our efforts are driven by our desire to best serve our county, our communities, our citizens and our students.”

Co-chairs and members of the Butler for Butler Task Force were:

Linda Jolly, El Dorado

Eileen Dreiling, Augusta

Travis Griffin, Andover

Rod Young, Rose Hill

Tom Leffler, Augusta

Tiya Tonn, El Dorado

Dave Sundgren, El Dorado

Randal Chickadonz, Rose Hill

Chase Locke, El Dorado

Matt Ward, Augusta

Jessica Rall, El Dorado

Jill Lachenmayr, Andover

Harold Beedles, Rose Hill

Marla Canfield, Andover


A copy of the PowerPoint presentation can be found at www.butlercc.edu/community.

Experienced Singer, Speaker to Present on Western, Great Plains Folk Life

Butler Community College’s Life Enrichment will feature Jeff Davidson at 9 a.m. and Jim Hoy at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7.

Jim Hoy, Emporia State University English professor, has lectured internationally about the Great Plains and folk life. He is the co-author of “Plains Folk,” a syndicated newspaper column.

Using songs, historical facts and pictures, Davidson leads audiences through the history of the settlement of the west, with particular emphasis on the state of Kansas. The development of Kansas had a tremendous influence on western settlement, helping to shape the economy, ideology and heroism of a young nation. Davidson entertained as part of the Flint Hills Overland Wagon Train for 25 years where he developed the idea of using historical events to introduce songs he sang. He uses a combination of classic western and folk tunes along with his own compositions to highlight the significant historical events that led Kansas into statehood.

An authority on the folk life of ranching, Hoy is a professor of English and former director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University. He has lectured internationally on the folk life of ranching and is the co-author of “Plains Folk,” a syndicated newspaper column. 

Most Kansans are familiar with stories of grasshoppers large enough for cowboys to ride, or summers that popped corn in the field due to the heat. Kansas is a place of big skies and tall tales, but these exaggerated narratives help explain the character of our state and its people. Hoy’s presentation will explore some of the countless legends and folktales from around the state, and how they define the communities that keep these stories alive.

“Kansas Legends and Folktales” is part of Humanities Kansas’s Movement of Ideas Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and workshops designed to share inspiring stories, spark informative conversations and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.

Life Enrichment meets on the first Tuesday morning of the month during the school year. Area adults enjoy high-quality speakers and performers, along with a light breakfast and coffee during each regular meeting. Meetings take place in the Clifford/Stone Community Room at the Hubbard Welcome Center on the El Dorado campus. Meetings are open to everyone and there is no charge to attend. Those who attend regularly are encouraged to register so they receive monthly newsletters announcing the programs. New members are always welcome.

For more information about Life Enrichment or the May 7 program, please contact Trisha Walls at 316-218-6355 or twalls@butlercc.edu.

Butler County | City & School Elections 2019

In this week’s podcast episode, we spoke to Butler County Clerk Tatum Stafford regarding the filing deadline for the upcoming elections.  

Among the city and school position openings include Mayor for Andover, Augusta, El Dorado, Latham, Leon, and Potwin.  Most notable is the fact that no one has yet filed for the Butler Community College Board of Trustees.  

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of Butler Community College. The Board delegates authority to the President of the college subject to Board approval over all personnel, educational, financial and business matters pertaining to the operation of the college.

See the complete list of City and School Positions