Wenatchee Valley College employees recognized in 2020 awards ceremony

June 25, 2020

Media Contact:
Libby Siebens, community relations executive director, 509-682-6436 (Mon.-Thurs.)

Outstanding faculty and staff members at Wenatchee Valley College were recognized by WVC employees and the WVC Foundation at a virtual awards ceremony in June.

English faculty Heather Ryan (from East Wenatchee) received the Linda Schultz Herzog Faculty Member of the Year Award, which includes a $1,000 honorarium funded by the WVC Foundation. In a letter nominating Ryan for the award, Zack Jacobson, industrial technology faculty, wrote, “I’ve seen Heather go above and beyond when it comes to advising and providing tutelage to students in need. The feedback I hear about her classes is that she is difficult, fair, and willing to make sure all understand the topic on hand. Heather is intelligent with zero essence of condescension and works just as hard helping her coworkers as she does with students. Always pushing each to learn more and become better in the process.”

Ryan received her associate degree from Bakersfield College, her bachelor’s in English from Portland State University, and a master’s in creative writing from University of Oregon. Ryan has taught English at WVC since 2014. She also serves as the faculty professional development coordinator and division chair for transfer English.

The MAC Gallery received the Alcoa Excellence in Teaching Award, which also includes a $1,500 grant provided by Alcoa. Each year, faculty members are invited to submit proposals that will support instructors in the development of a project that significantly increases learning effectiveness. The MAC Gallery in WVC’s Music and Arts Center offers high quality visual art exhibitions and cultural events for students and the Wenatchee community. The gallery depends on outside assistance to run their operations and applied for the grant to support artist expenses, publicity, and gallery equipment for their 2020-21 schedule of exhibitions.

Tria Skirko (Omak), electronic services librarian, received the Anna Pieratt Spirit of WVC Award for her years of promoting and embodying WVC spirit. This award honors an individual or group who has demonstrated the spirit exemplified by Anna Pieratt when she served as executive assistant to the president.

Jackie Browning (Dryden), math faculty, received the WVC Outstanding Part-time Faculty Award for Wenatchee, and Yvette Hill, business computer technology faculty, received the WVC Outstanding Part-time Faculty Award for Omak.

Cheryl Fritz (Wenatchee), assistant director of financial aid, received the WVC Exempt Staff Award, which includes a $1,000 honorarium funded by the WVC Foundation.

Jocelyn Vincent-Ramsey (Omak), program coordinator, received the WVC Alcoa Classified Staff Award and a $1,000 honorarium funded by Alcoa.

Ten-year service awards were presented to Michelle Cannaday (Wenatchee), student leadership and engagement coordinator; and Peter Donahue (Winthrop), English faculty.

Fifteen-year service awards were presented to David Bennatt (Wenatchee), biology faculty; Lynne Kottmeier (Wenatchee), developmental education faculty; Laura Murphy-Belser (Wenatchee), classified program coordinator in financial aid; Richard Ralston (Wenatchee), custodian, and Dr. Jim Richardson (Wenatchee), college president.

Twenty-year service awards were presented to Cecilia Escobedo (Wenatchee), executive assistant to vice president of instruction; Angelica Jaquish, program specialist; Riva Morgan (Wenatchee), workforce education pathways director; and Beverly Warman (Wenatchee), chemical dependency studies faculty.

Twenty five-year service awards were presented to Angela Russell (Leavenworth), math faculty; and Sharon Wiest (Wenatchee), math faculty.

Thirty-year service awards were presented to Leonardo Garcia (Cashmere), agriculture faculty; and Daniel Stephens (Cashmere), biology faculty.

A thirty five-year award was presented to Greg Jourdan (Wenatchee), environmental systems and refrigeration technology faculty.

Employees retiring this year were also recognized, including Pamela Kelley (Wenatchee), curriculum coordinator; Juanita Gaytan (Wenatchee), custodian; and David Knutson (Wenatchee), maintenance mechanic.


Wenatchee Valley College enriches North Central Washington by serving educational and cultural needs of communities and residents throughout the service area. The college provides high-quality transfer, liberal arts, professional/technical, basic skills and continuing education for students of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Visit our website, wvc.edu.

Wenatchee Valley College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in employment and student enrollment. All programs are free from discrimination and harassment against any person because of race, creed, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a service animal by a person with a disability, age, parental status or families with children, marital status, religion, genetic information, honorably discharged veteran or military status or any other prohibited basis per RCW 49.60.030, 040 and other federal and state laws and regulations, or participation in the complaint process.

The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and Title IX compliance for both the Wenatchee and Omak campuses:

  • To report discrimination or harassment: Title IX Coordinator, Wenatchi Hall 2322M, (509) 682-6445, title9@wvc.edu.
  • To request disability accommodations: Student Access Coordinator, Wenatchi Hall 2133, (509) 682-6854, TTY/TTD: dial 711, sas@wvc.edu.