May 11, 2012
Story and photos by Brandon Steinert
Part-time Mathematics Instructor Jann Sherman and full-time Networking Instructor Howard Pastran were chosen to receive the Distinguished Instructor Awards for the 2011-12 school year during the 42nd annual commencement ceremony Thursday evening.
The prestigious award is given out to only one full-time and one part-time instructor each year. The honor has been a part of Barton Community College’s graduation ceremonies since 2007.
Some of the categories that qualify instructors for the award include teaching and learning, college mission and service and community service.
Full-time Recipient: Networking Instructor Howard Pastran, Fort Riley campus
Pastran has been working at Barton since February of 2009. Prior to that, he worked for a small computer company in Abilene, Kan. after retiring from the Army in 2006.
“Since 1986, I have been interested in computers, and have had a passion for repairing, connecting and troubleshooting them,” he said of his drive. “I am very honored and humbled to be awarded the DIA, I truly feel that I make a difference in students’ learning and I am very proud to be associated with Barton.”
Pastran has played a key role in offering a networking certificate and degree to the military.
Every year, Pastran briefs about 1,500 soldiers on Barton’s mission and its many certificate and degree programs offered through the Military Schools at the C-4 Skills Training Facility.
Pastran said the transition to working at Barton, specifically at the Fort Riley location, was right up his alley.
“As a non-commissioned officer in the United States Army, I was responsible for training soldiers, and have always felt I was an educator,” he explained. “Now I get the best of both worlds. I get to teach computers to the soldiers at Fort Riley.”
Part-time recipient: Developmental Mathematics Instructor Jann Sherman, Great Bend campus
Sherman never intended to have a lengthy career at Baron, or anywhere for that matter.
“I intended to be a stay at home mom,” she said with a smile.
Sherman is a 1972 graduate from Barton and ’74 from the University of Kansas, where she acquired a Bachelor of Science Degree in education. Her credentials made her a prime candidate to teach at Barton when the need arose in 1977, and she received a phone call inviting her to teach algebra.
That’s what she did until 1980, when she took time off to raise children. But, in 2000, when her son and daughter were both older, she decided to return to the Barton family as a developmental mathematics instructor, which is what she’s been doing ever since.
“I’m a strong believer in community colleges and specifically Barton,” she said. “Being awarded the DIA was a surprise. I’m not used to being the center of attention, so this is more attention than what I’m comfortable with. It is a nice honor, and I appreciate it very much.”