Award winners announced for KCKCC’s Mid America Education Hall of Fame awards and scholarship event

by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC

With only weeks left until the Mid America Education Hall of Fame Awards and Scholarship Event, the Kansas City Kansas Community College Foundation has announced award winners who will be recognized.

The Mid America Education Hall of Fame Awards and Scholarship event is April 21 at the Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center. There will be a sponsor reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by a general reception and silent auction at 6 p.m. Dinner will be at 7 p.m., and the program begins at 8 p.m.

New this year is the addition of a student art show and jazz music performance by KCKCC students. Both start during the general reception at 6 p.m.

The honorary chair for this year’s event is Will Shields, former NFL player and member of 2015 NFL Hall of Fame class, and his wife Senia. He was also a 2001 Mid America Education Hall of Fame Award recipient. The master of ceremonies is Kevin Holmes, anchor for The Now KC.

“We are thrilled to welcome such amazing community members to the 2018 Mid America Education Hall of Fame,” said Tami Bartunek, chief marketing and outreach officer for KCKCC. “This event highlights the importance of education while raising ever needed scholarship funds for our students. We are truly humbled to have such strong community support.”

The 2018 Mid America Education Hall of Fame inductees:

• Dr. R. Jayson Strickland. Strickland is the deputy superintendent for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools and has spent more than 20 years in the education field. He leads all curriculum instruction and leadership for early childhood through 12th grade as well as oversees the district’s Diploma+ program. He also helped to facilitate the Memorandum of Understanding between KCKPS and KCKCC, which established the requirements and guidelines for Concurrent/Dual Enrollment of high school students in the district. A graduate of Washington High School, he is described as leading with passion, being a strategic thinker and bringing out the best in those he works with.

• Duane Shaw. Shaw was employed at KCKCC for 47 years before retiring in 2015, serving as the director of student activities and director of athletics. A longtime financial supporter of the college, he now volunteers his time as an official scorer for Blue Devil home basketball games. In addition, he taught at Central Junior High for 11 years, where he developed and taught the first sex education class at the junior high level in KCKPS. In the Senior Olympics, he has participated in 182 competitions and won the National Basketball Association Free Throw Championships in 2016. He was inducted into the Huntsman World Senior Games Hall of Fame in 2017. He is described as having enthusiasm and devotion in whatever position he is in and is said to have touched the lives of thousands of young people through his many years as a sports official.

• Loren Taylor. Taylor is a former attorney, reserve police officer and adjunct professor at KCKCC. He also served as the legal adviser for the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department and served in the active duty Army and Army Reserves, rising to the rank of colonel. According to one of the nomination letters, “His leadership, dedication and passion for education and the schooling of individuals from all occupations and lifestyles have, and are today, reflected in many persons from throughout the community. He has spent his entire adult life, dedicated to the cause of helping others and his community, be it providing scholarly information or academic training and education to professional advice or assistance.” Taylor also has a passion for history and has written several books regarding the history of Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County.

• Deloris Pinkard. Pinkard’s long career in education started as a classroom teacher in the Kansas City, Kan. School District and led her to multiple roles at KCKCC including vice president for executive services, dean of human resources and an adjunct professor before her retirement in 2006. She has long since advocated for employees who were marginalized, encouraging them to empower themselves by continuing their education. She served two terms as president of the Sumner High School Alumni Association and is currently the certified parliamentarian and Executive Committee member. Her nomination essay says, “From her early years as an elementary school student through her current retirement years, she never faltered in her desire to help students through her teaching and modeling of the importance of education.”

In addition, the Jewell family will receive the President’s Circle Award for an estate gift of greater than $50,000. Jesse Paul Jewell was born in Arcadia, Kansas. After Paul’s military service in World War II, the Jewells settled in Kansas City, Kansas, where Paul became a life-long professor at KCKCC.

For 41 years, Paul taught in the fields of economics, history and political science and coached basketball for a time. He retired from teaching in the summer of 1988 and wrote “The History of Kansas City Kansas Community College,” which was published in 1996.

His wife Fern served tirelessly in the First Central Church of the Brethren and in church district work. In her earlier years in Kansas City, Kansas, she taught in the public schools. Those who knew Paul and Fern well, knew them as a team – pillars of the church and community, whose wise counsel and enthusiastic personal support were always welcome, according to event officials. Paul died in May 2003 and Fern died in September 2017.

“We are thankful for our sponsors and guests for helping us raise needed scholarship funds while also celebrating this year’s award winners,” said Bob Davis, chair of the KCKCC Foundation board.

The Mid America Education Hall of Fame started in 1996 as a way to recognize individuals, organizations and corporate supporters in the community who have made notable contributions to education. Hall of Fame inductees are selected based on a demonstrated commitment to education, their effort to improve the quality of life in the community through a commitment to education, increasing educational opportunities for others and supporting significant changes that have improved the quality of education.

Sponsors for the Mid America Education Hall of Fame and Sponsorship Event include Heartland Coca-Cola; Security Bank; Bukaty Companies; J.E. Dunn; Humana; McAnany, Van Cleave and Phillips, P.A.; Black History Committee; Bovard Insurance Group; BPU; C&C Group; Cintas; Design Mechanical Inc.; Met Life; Midwest Regional Credit Union; Providence Medical Center; Sumner One and Williams, Spurgeon, Kuhl and Freshnock Architects Inc.

Tickets are still available to the event, which can be purchased by visiting
For more information on the Mid America Education Hall of Fame Awards and Scholarship Event, contact Bartunek at 913-288-7166 or by email at

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