TSTC’s North Texas location in Red Oak will be closed until noon on Tuesday, May 28, due to a power outage. There will be no in-person hybrid classes during this time. Online classes will continue as scheduled. Employees who can work remote are encouraged to do so. Check TSTC’s social media and website for updates.


(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College honored 30 employees with service award drive-thru celebrations this month.

With COVID-19 restrictions limiting large gatherings, the celebrations were planned to honor employees with five to 35 years of experience. Celebrations were held at the Abilene, Sweetwater and Breckenridge campuses.

Lance Eastman, interim provost for the West Texas campuses, said the employees honored are appreciated by everyone at TSTC.

“Every position is important and about serving our students and industry,” he said. “These individuals have made sure that our buildings are clean and safe, food is provided, that equipment is in place and that instruction is relevant.”

Eastman was proud to be part of a creative way to honor employees.

“With the health restrictions, which we take seriously, we had to be creative of how we could distribute our service awards,” he said. “We are grateful for these individuals that have dedicated year after year of service.”

Each employee received a plaque, a yard sign noting their years of service, and a gift.

Sweetwater’s Maria Aguirre, the senior executive director of Communication and Creative Services, was honored for 35 years with the college. Joni Coons, the intramural programs coordinator in Sweetwater, was honored for 30 years of employment. Abilene’s Holle England, a learning and development trainer, received a plaque honoring her 35 years with TSTC.

Abilene employees honored for five years of service were Greg Nicholas, welding instructor; Amanda Suiters, library coordinator; Rikki Spivey, enrollment coach; Matt Briggs, Emergency Medical Services instructor; Susan Leda Cowart, English instructor; Randa R. Weeks, Health Information Technology instructor; Magaly Valdez, Drafting and Design instructor; and Miranda Thomas, technical physics instructor.

Mary Wilhite, a student services specialist, was honored for 10 years at the Abilene campus. Also honored in Abilene were Michael Soto, a Business Management Technology instructor, and Susan Hash, a testing administrator, both for 15 years with TSTC, as well as Pam Marler, a contract administration coordinator, and Julia Humphrey, career services director, for 20 years.

Sweetwater five-year employees honored were Frank Molini and Taylor Elston, welding instructors; Carla Becker, travel and expense specialist; Beth Hall, developmental math instructor; Brock Carter, chief of police; and Ray Carnathan, police officer.

Gloria Santiago, food service operator, and Jeff Olney, Electromechanical Technology instructor, received 10-year awards for their employment in Sweetwater. Fifteen-year awards were presented to Sweetwater’s Gail Lawrence, TSTC’s executive vice chancellor and chief of staff to the chancellor; Mark Hampton, resource development specialist; and Sandra Ortega, enrollment coach.

Brownwood’s Becky Jones, a licensed drug counseling instructor, received a 10-year plaque. Breckenridge’s Debra Bufkin, a developmental math instructor, and Vernon Akins, a building maintenance supervisor, received five-year awards.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.


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