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


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

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

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


Students Able to Obtain Associate Degree in Seven Months

Butler Community College Interactive 3D Technologies Boot Camp to Launch This Summer

In response to the public’s demand of gaining employment quickly, Butler Community College will birth its Interactive 3D Technologies Boot Camp this June. For those wanting a career in the multimedia industry, Butler has opened a path to obtain a degree in this field by the end of the year; however, a little elbow grease is required.

By completing an immersed-learning experience in a boot camp-styled course this summer, plus completing additional classes in the fall semester, students can walk out with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Interactive, Digital and 3D Technology before Christmas.

Butler has offered its Interactive, Digital and 3D Technology (ID3D) degree for seven years. With the need for people to get into the workforce quickly, and taking into consideration the success of intensive programs in other regions of the country, Darryl Runyan, Butler Interactive, Digital & 3D Technology Department Chair, and his fellow instructors decided to see how this could appeal in the Midwest.

“With our pathway of Interactive, Digital and 3D Technology already being a great success, we will be striving to give the same quality one-on-one attention that will be necessary for students to excel. The small class size as well as the personal contact with our professors on a daily basis, means students will never be without support and help,” said Runyan.

He added, “All of our professors will be there on a daily basis, not only teaching, but mentoring and helping students to effectively prepare for their new career.”

Students enrolled in this program will attend classes 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in Andover during June and July. Some online coursework is also included. After this period, they will finish in the Fall Semester with general education courses along with more digital classes, engaging in both first and second eight-week courses during this time. At completion, students will earn their specialized two-year degree in this limitless industry field.

Due to the time commitment, the program is designed for those who are recent high school graduates, workers in transition or those who have a financial support system during the summer months when they’re completing the bulk of the course. In addition, reliability and commitment will be a requirement. If students miss more than two days of classes, they can still finish their degree, but will no longer be on the fast track toward the December completion date.

As the only associate-degree centric program for ID3D in the area, students will be trained in the field of frame and simulation development; gain experience in Photoshop, 3D Studio Max and Unity Game Engine; and acquire skills in Virtual Reality, Stop Motion Animation, 3D Animation, Video and Audio Production. Butler will provide all computers, software and other equipment needed.

Job titles encompassing these skills include game designer, animator, 3D concept artist and video production, to name a few.

Space is limited in the program. Those interested should contact Darryl Runyan, 316.218.6132 or email to begin the application and enrollment process.

Annual fundraising auction exceeds goal for Foundation, scholarships

Nearly 350 guests attended Butler Community College Foundation’s 22nd Butler Benefit Auction. The evening’s theme, “Butleropoly,” lent a fun and festive air to the annual fundraising event.

Betsy and Scott Redler, 22nd Butler Benefit Auction honorary chairs.

Betsy and Scott Redler served as honorary chairs for the event. Scott, COO and co-founder of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, has had continued involvement with the culinary arts and hospitality management programs for nearly 25 years. In 2017, the Redlers established an endowed scholarship for a student in those academic programs.

“We were fortunate to have people support us along our journey toward our dream of restaurant ownership,” Betsy and Scott said in their message to attendees. “Now it’s our turn to help someone else achieve their dreams – that is the best reward for us.”

An extra special feature this year highlighted Butler’s renowned culinary arts and hospitality management programs, led by instructors Chef John Michael and Alexis Michael. Guests visited “properties” based on the Monopoly theme to taste hors d’oeuvres prepared and served by culinary arts’ Garde Manger classes. Each table had a theme: Boardwalk, Kentucky Avenue, Mediterranean Avenue, Oriental Avenue, and Pacific Avenue. Table displays and help with service was provided by hospitality management’s Event Planning classes.

“Interaction with our students means the donors are able to truly see the impact of their gifts,” said Mary Moon, executive director of community advancement and Butler Benefit Auction event director. “Providing a platform for the students to showcase their talent is very rewarding.”

Total funds raised topped out at $238,000. The evening featured silent, super silent, and live auctions, a dice roll game for drawing prizes, and a golden ticket drawing. With an ending bid of $8,000, the highest-selling item of the night was a live auction package of Kansas City Chiefs tickets that included Founder’s Club entry tickets and a gold parking pass for Arrowhead Stadium. The item was donated to the auction by Butler alumna Angela Hurt (’97), CEO of Veracity Consulting in Kansas City.

The second-highest selling item was an ‘Extraordinary Culinary Arts Dinner.’ The dinner, for 10 guests and hosted by the Redlers, will feature an array of small plates crafted by culinary students and paired with wines from the Redlers’ collection. The dinner sold for $7,500.

Laura Schneider, a fourth semester nursing student from Wichita, spoke to the attendees saying she never dreamed she would be going back to school as a non-traditional student working on a second career. Schneider will graduate from the nursing program in May and work in the cardiothoracic ICU at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis.

Along with the culinary arts and hospitality management students, one dozen livestock judging students assisted throughout the event – from selling drawing tickets to working during the live auction. Theatre students assisted Mittlestadt Props & Design, owned by Butler alumnus Tom Mittlestadt, with décor and set up. The Noteables women’s barbershop quartet sang as guests arrived and assisted with the dice roll game. The Smorgaschords men’s barbershop quartet also sang and two members, Scott Slack and Sam Rinkenbaugh, emceed for the evening.

Growing up in EduCare from the time I was a toddler until I was in kindergarten was a big part of why I came to Butler,” said Rinkenbaugh, son of Bill Rinkenbaugh, vice president of student services. “As a freshman my experience has only affected me positively.”

Slack, a fire science student, lives in the fire house in El Dorado as part of the hands-on learning experience that program provides.

“With your help I was given the opportunity to become a part-time firefighter for the city of El Dorado,” Slack said. “I cannot thank you enough for your generosity and passion and for helping students grow and obtain a better education.”

Top sponsors for the evening were:  HollyFrontier, Bank of America, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, BG Products, Commerce Bank, IMA, Professional Engineering Consultants and BKD.

Butler County Spelling Bee

The Welcome Center at Butler Community College was abuzz with nervous excitement as the large meeting room filled with students, parents, teachers, and administrators representing 28 schools from across Butler County.

Each student was selected as a representative to the Butler County Spelling Bee after winning their school-wide Spelling Bee.

First up was a practice round which gave the spellers an opportunity to calm their nerves and let parents take photos before the competition officially began.  Students were allowed a piece of paper and writing instrument in order to spell check the old-fashioned way. Upon successfully spelling a word, a student would hear “Right!”  When a word was spelled incorrectly, a bell would ring alerting the student to leave the competition floor and take a seat in the audience with their parent or teacher.

Calculus. Cooperage. Guava. Suffocate. Hibiscus

Words were pronounced, parts of speech and etymology were given, as well as a definition, and the word was used in a sentence if the student requested.  

After an hour, three rounds of spelling words and a brief intermission, less than a dozen students remained in the contest.    Cliques, accompany, apprehend, barbarous, rivulets, haberdashery, and portentously were some of the words spelled incorrectly.

As the rounds continued, the words increased in difficulty.  

Pegasi. Catacombs. Munificent. Eviscerated. Ambuscade. Balaclavas. Millefeuille. Phaeton. Marengo. Homonym. Seersucker.

By the eighth round, three spellers remained, #3, Jeremiah Rather, #9, Grace Schmidt and #13, Kareena Bhaktn.   All three spelled their words correctly until the eleventh round when Grace Schmidt of Circle Middle School misspelled “stipple” and was awarded Second Runner-Up.

Nine more rounds of correctly spelled words. Then, in the twenty-first round, Kareena Bhaktn, El Dorado Middle School student misspelled “wainscot” and opening the door for Jeremiah Rather to win the Spelling Bee with the correct spelling of “poinsettia.”  Kareena was awarded First Runner-Up

Jeremiah said he practiced spelling every night for 20 minutes.  He will represent Butler County at the Sunflower Spelling Bee on March 9 at Newman University. The Sunflower Spelling Bee is hosted by The Kansas Press Association. The winner of the Sunflower Spelling Bee qualifies for participation in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

This was the eleventh year for Butler Community College to sponsor the county-wide spelling bee that is conducted by library services at Butler Community College.