NPCC honors part-time employees for athletic service

Doris Howard
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Doris Howard is recognized for 55 years of part-time service to North Platte Community College athletics. Pictured left to right are: Howard and Dr. Jody Tomanek, area vice president of Academic Affairs and NPCC. 

North Platte Community College honored nine part-time employees Tuesday for their service to NPCC's athletics department. 

Recognitions were made during an award luncheon on the NPCC North Campus. 

Together, the employees contributed a total of 155 years of part-time service to the college. All are from North Platte with the exception of Todd Hanneman, who is from Sutherland. 

Those recognized were: 

  • 55 years – Doris Howard
  • 15 years – Deb Wurl, Linda Guenin, Jason Jensen, Jason Trosper and Brad Nixon
  • 10 years – Gary White and Todd Hanneman
  • Five years – Mary Collins

Doris Howard 

NPCC's longest serving part-time employee, Howard, started working at the college at its inception in 1965. At that time, it was the North Platte Junior College and was housed primarily in the old 1913 Post Office – currently the Prairie Arts Center in North Platte. 

Howard was the college's first physical education instructor. The job was two mornings a week. 

Howard taught archery and volleyball at the armory, tennis at Cody Park, bowling at the Cedar Bowl, softball in a vacant lot at the North Platte High School and a fitness class for non-traditional students at the Cody Elementary gymnasium. 

She also taught a Health and Elementary Education class and remained an instructor at the college until 1974. 

"About that time, a woman named Barb Reifler, who had graduated from North Platte High School, had come back to do student teaching under Linda Carlson," said Howard in an interview in 2016. "[Barb] and I started a volleyball team at the college, and I paid her out of my paycheck to coach it because with little kids, I didn't have time for that." 

Howard did, however, manage a concession stand at home games. Prior to use of the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium, when basketball was still played at North Platte High School, she and her husband, Jack, would pop popcorn in the basement of the old post office and carry it to the games to sell. 

Doris also took on the role of scorekeeper for both volleyball and basketball – something she continued for 42 years. 

In addition to being recognized in front of their peers Tuesday, Doris and the other honorees received pins and certificates as a thank you for their service throughout the years.