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Share Your Story

We would love for YOU to be a part of the 75th Anniversary Celebration! Share your stories and photos by sending them to SKYCTC75thAnniversary@kctcs.edu. Be sure to identify who, what, when in the photos, and tell us your connection with SKYCTC. Check back regularly to see postings!

Carolyn Garden

Carolyn GradenI served as Administrative Assistant and Bookstore Manager at the College from 1964 until retirement in 1996. The changes that have taken place at the College are astounding. When I began at the College, it was named the Western Trade School, located on the property that is now Western Kentucky University. I began as a secretary with the Manpower Development Training Act (MDTA), a program to help the economically disadvantaged students attain an education and then go to work. I was at the school when MDTA and CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) Centers were opened on High Street and Third Street. While I was here, the area technology centers in Barren, Russellville, and Monroe Counties were combined with the College under a regional office structure, and the College was renamed the Bowling Green Regional Technology Center in 1994. During that time, we had hundreds of Warren, Butler, and Edmonson County high school students attending a half day here, and then returning to their high school for the other half of the day. Most of these students were involved in the Vocational and Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) and would compete each year in technical competitions. I also remember the College’s Truck Driving Center and the opening of the Kentucky Advanced Technology Institute. Through all the changes the College has gone through, one constant was the dedication and commitment of the faculty and staff. I remember great leaders and instructors, like Phillip Hampton, and other faculty and staff, who invested their lives and expertise to see students succeed.

Coni J. Waggoner

The memory that means the most to me was getting a call from Alice Benham during the summer of 2010 when she asked me if I would be interested in taking the full time Reading Instructor position. I’ve always admired and respected Ms. Benham. She is a wonderful person and I will never forget that call because without her, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to work at the Best Place to Work on Earth! I love SKYCTC and I love the family atmosphere on our campuses!!

Dr. Jimmy Isenberg

Dr. Jimmy Isenberg working at TJ Sampson hospital.I started out as part-time, adjunct faculty at the Glasgow Health Campus on September 18, 1979. I was assigned to teach EMT, CPR and First Aid, Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Math, Nurse Aide, and occasional nursing class lectures. I became full-time faculty on October 28, 1996, teaching as LPN faculty. The most memorable achievement I have witnessed while working here was our campus being approved to offer the RN program; it is still the highlight of my career.

Watching SKYCTC transform from a technical trade school, to the consolidation of all campuses and becoming a comprehensive community and technical college, has been a memorable achievement to be a part of. This transformation is a true reflection of our dedication to providing opportunities. We offer opportunities to people who would not necessarily go on to a traditional university. We provide a very inexpensive and easily assessable choice for career education so students can enter the workforce and make a better living for themselves, and their families. Dr. Jimmy Isenberg on the cover of Pulse magazine.

This college has meant more to me and my family than I could ever describe. It has had an impact on the lives of my entire family: my wife, Jolene, graduated from here in 1977, as a LPN; I graduated in 1978, as a LPN; my brother graduated in 1983, as a LPN; my son, James, graduated in 2006 as a LPN, and then again in 2009, as an RN (the first RN graduate class); and my son, Jonathan, graduated here in 2011, as an RN. My eldest daughter teaches at SKYCTC, and has for the past 10 years.

As you can see, the college has been very valuable to me and my family; it has provided us opportunities for rewarding careers and has opened many doors. We have all gone on to earn doctoral degrees, and/or become KY Board of Nursing members, Presidents; Faculty members, Deans, etc. What more of an impact could one ask for?

Harold Clark

In 1962, I came to work in the auto mechanic department when the College was still located where Dero Downing Student Center is now on WKU’s campus. After the College moved to its current location, I worked Harold Clarkin transmission and diesel. There were only a few buildings here when we first moved. One of the smartest decisions the College ever made was to buy adjacent land as it became available. Money was very tight back in the beginning. After the village was empty, we needed to relocate the metal buildings up the hill to be used for classes. We moved them by having the students get inside and lift the buildings and walk a little bit, set the building down to rest, then pick it up and go a little further. I think there were three of those buildings offering several classes, including drafting and office machine. When we needed a bigger area to work, we had to take it upon ourselves to add on by making our own I-beams and pouring our own concrete. Faculty, staff, and students worked hard to get the job done.

I feel the biggest achievement for the College was when we became accredited. Accreditation is recognized everywhere, and it really helps showcase the great things that the College has to offer. The college has provided opportunities to those who may feel that they have none. Everyone has a place, sometimes you just have to find where you belong. Over the years, I had great classes and great students; many of them were veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. There was one boy who was sent to me from Warren Central, and he was given a two-week trial. He found his place in my class, and now he has his own business. I still see him regularly, and he once told me I had done a lot for him – that I gave him a chance. That makes it all worth the effort.

Janel Doyle

STORY 1:
The Bowling Green Transportation Center was the truck driving (semi) program for this college. It was located on 6198 Nashville Road. That is where I started my internship and was hired as an Administrative Assistant. There was one director, two administrative assistants, a financial aid officer (Donna Martin had this job for a while), and many faculty members.

At 1127 Morgantown Road (now KATI), there was a Christian Drive-in Theater located on this property. Movies were shown every Friday night. The large screen was located at the rear of the property, and cars would park in a graveled area which is now the building.

The state purchased the corner of Loop Drive and Morgantown Road in the early 90's to build KATC (Kentucky Advanced Technology Center). KATC was temporarily housed in Building F on the Main Campus. I did some internship hours there also.

When drilling began to build KATC/KATI on the corner, it was deemed "unbuildable" because of the huge cave that is underground on the corner of that lot.

The Bowling Green Transportation Center bought the property of the Christian Drive-in Theater and used the large graveled lot as a backing range. Students were taught how to park and parallel park the semi's.

The Bowling Green Transportation Center was downsized and moved to the Main Campus. KATC/KATI was built on the property at 1127 Morgantown Road for the new building.

The truck driving program was closed under Dr. Jack Thomas' administration.

STORY 2:
The Bowling Green State Vocational Technical School was the name the college held when I first started. Some of the programs that have been closed over the years are: Truck Driving, Diesel Mechanics, Dental Assisting, Plumbing, Masonry, Caprentry, Wood Working, Graphic Arts, and Retailing/Marketing (This was the area that Patti Sumner taught in).

STORY 3:
When I was a student, the program was called Business and Office (in 1988). I earned my Secretarial Diploma. Rick Wilson was one of my teachers. Honestly, he was the best teacher in that entire program.

STORY 4:
I was the principal's (now called President) secretary on the Main Campus beginning in the early 90's. There were approximately 70 employees. I typed all employee travel vouchers on a typewriter, hand recorded all employee payroll sheets and leave forms, used Word Perfect and Lotus on the computer, didn't have email, had to make announcements on a PA system, called and got substitute teachers for the teachers that couldn't come to work, made many pots of coffee for the principal and faculty each day, used a transcription machine to type minutes from meetings that were recorded on a cassette, scheduled all faculty/staff meetings and created the agenda, was responsible for the foundation members and paperwork, responsible for supervising the key distribution for all locks on campus, went to every technical program advisory committee and took minutes, responsible for marketing the college, assisted all technical faculty with any typing - filing - etc. that had to be done, served as the backup administrative assistant for the assistant principal, served as a lead advisor for a student organization, etc. etc. It is amazing the lack of technology I had to accomplish so many tasks!

Terrell Murphy

Terrell MurphyI began working at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College in 1986, when it was still known as Bowling Green Regional Technology Center. Back then, students could enroll every Monday and classes met from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This was an intensive schedule that left little time for work.
Nowadays, new students enroll every semester and have many opportunities to have a flexible schedule.

A prominent memory of mine was of a student who had been sent through the correctional system as a felon before he came here. He asked me how he would ever get a job if employers did a background check. I suggested that he needed to keep trying and apply at smaller companies that might be more willing to give him a chance. Two years later, he called to tell me that heTerrell Murphy teaching a student. had been with the same company since day one, and was now working as the lead service tech. He also shared that he had turned his life around, fallen in love, gotten married, bought a home, and was completely loving his life.

SKYCTC changes lives – for our students and for the faculty and staff. I was able to finish my degree while teaching, and I would not have been able to otherwise. It has also been great watching the college stay updated with technology, and expanding to offer more opportunities for more students.

Tim Lutenski

In reflecting on my experience and involvement with SKYCTC, I realize there are many wonderful people that I’ve had the great privilege of meeting. In particular I’ve been in contact with and interacted with many fellow employees, who without exception have been exemplary individuals. Therefore, I am somewhat reluctant to call particular attention to specific individuals, as there are so many that deserve recognition. But here are some people I would like to acknowledge.

Prior to being offered a position with SKYCTC I went through two interviews via Skype. On both occasions Sarah Skaggs graciously contacted me in advance of the interview and then patiently guided me through the process of the Skype interview, including the appropriate preparation and required set-up. I believe Sarah was the first person working with SKYCTC that I had contact with and she left an indelible impression; being patient, kind, soft-spoken, and encouraging.

In my second Skype interview I spoke one-on-one with Dr. Neal. Although a little nervous, he quickly put me at ease and I recall that we had more of a conversation together, rather than a formal interview. Dr. Neal was sincere, energetic, had a great sense of humor, and manifested a deep belief in and commitment to the mission and vision of the college. Despite his very busy schedule, we spoke for about 45 minutes (15 minutes more than our scheduled time). In many ways Dr. Neal inspired me with the vision of myself actually working at the college and making a contribution.

Prior to beginning employment with SKYCTC I had been in contact with Sharon Gibson on several occasions and she was of great assistance in providing information and resources to help me in transitioning to a new job and new community. My wife and I visited Sharon in person at her office a couple weeks before I started working at SKYCTC; she was kind, friendly, patient, and very welcoming, making us feel like we were truly valued. Due to Sharon, as newcomers we immediately felt we were part of the college and the community.

When I actually started working at SKYCTC I was somewhat anxious and anticipated a real paradigm shift, since in my previous job I had worked with all women and would now be working with all men. I now know the anxiety I felt was unnecessary. The guys I work with - Mike McKinney, Rick Cage, Randy San, and Chad Lindsey - are all special individuals, great co-workers, and true professionals. I appreciate being able to work with them and thank them for making it worth coming to work each day.

I feel extremely grateful to be at SKYCTC and am proud that the college has so many special people working here.