At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. One degree makes all the difference. To recognize NCK Tech staff who demonstrate superior dedication and the willingness to go the extra degree, the college announced the fall 2014 recipient of the 212 Degree Award.

Recipients of this award are employees who demonstrate a positive attitude and commitment to their profession, students, fellow employees and a loyalty to the mission of NCK Tech. Eligible recipients are nominated by fellow employees, and the award winner is selected by a committee of five NCK Tech employees.

The award is presented twice a year, during the fall and spring semesters. Sandy Gottschalk, NCK Tech's associate degree nursing program chairwoman, was the recipient of the fall award. She was honored during a faculty inservice meeting Aug. 13 and was presented a trophy. In addition, her name will be added to the award plaque, which displays all award recipients, and she received a letter of commendation and a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

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Several students put North Central Kansas Technical College on the map this summer, placing high -- including two national championship performances -- at the 50th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Overland Park.

Curtiss Anderson, Burr Oak, who attended school on the Beloit campus, won the gold medal in the postsecondary individual welding division, while students under the direction of Beloit instructor Kyle Kopsa also placed second in welding fabrication team competition.

That trio included Joe Pfeifer from Hays, Jacob Arnold from Bennington and Joel Hayes from Rose Hill.

Also claiming first place at nationals was Cris Hayes from Clay Center in computer maintenance.

Other top 20 finishes at nationals were Matthew Gamble from Scott City, electronics technology, and John Haist from Miltonvale, telecommunications and cabling, who each recorded 12th-place finishes; Derek Legleiter, Hays, 16th in industrial motor controls; and Chris Hadsall, Maple Hill, 20th in automotive refinishing technology.

In addition to those honors, several NCK Tech instructors also received awards for 100-percent section membership for having 15 or more students of their program active in SkillsUSA.

One of those was Kopsa, as well as four others from the Beloit campus -- Bob Gibbens, auto service technology; Mike Cheney, carpentry; Brent Hubert, collision repair technology; and Kris Jones, diesel equipment technology.

Those from the Hays campus receiving that honor were Allan Hill, residential wiring; Bob Meistrell, welding; and Mark Rathbun, auto service technology.

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A timeline mural portraying North Central Kansas Technical College during its first 50 years will be on display at Hays Public Library, 1205 Main, during the month of September.

It will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the technical college, whose Hays campus is located on the northeast edge of Hays.

The technical college, with campuses in Beloit and Hays, began as an area vocational-technical school in Beloit in 1964.

A satellite campus was started in Hays 10 years later, and it was elevated to technical college status in 1994.

The mural -- which will feature programs, administrators, students and events through the years -- can be found in the Schmidt Gallery on the main floor of the library.

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The 2014-15 school year at North Central Kansas Technical College not only began with celebrations of the school's 50th anniversary, but several new faculty and staff as well.

New faculty and staff on the Beloit campus will be: Curtiss Anderson, welding; Landon Becker, diesel mechanics; Chris Goheen, electricity; Kay Jones, cafeteria; Gary Pingel, English composition/speech; and Nicole Underwood, nursing.

For Hays: Bruce "Buck" Danner, welding; Stephanie Eckroat, admissions; Jackie Haskell, administrative assistant; Philip Kuhn, culinary arts; Roxie Ruder, nursing; Sheri Stone, nursing; and Dallas Vanness, plumbing, heating and air conditioning.

In addition, Angel McAdams Prescott took over this month as dean of student services, a position that serves both campuses.