By Ashley Steiner

North Central Kansas Technical College, in honor of Board Appreciation Month, is pleased to share the many aspects and knowledge that our Board of Trustee Members bring to campus.  Members include Chairman Jim Johnson, Beloit, KS; Vice Chairman Carolyn Finney, Beloit, KS; Glennys Doane, Downs, KS; Donald Miller, Downs, KS. Members from the Hays area include Bob Becker, Stockton, KS; Dale A. Montgomery, Hays, KS; Lance Smith, Hays, KS.

Dale A. Montgomery has been a member of the NCK Tech Board of Trustees since July, 1987. Over 30 years ago, Montgomery was elected to the USD 489 School Board. At that time, several school districts supported the development of what was then named North Central Kansas Vo-Tech. Montgomery volunteered to become one of two representatives from USD 489 to join the North Central Kansas Vo-Tech Board.  “Seeing the success of our students, working with a team that is dedicated to student success and supporting the communities we teach in,” are Montgomery’s main reasons for serving on the board.  “I have two nephews and a niece that have tech degrees and all are very successful.  I believe students can benefit from a two year degree.  The cost is less, classes are smaller, and in some instances, the income from a two year degree will exceed that of a four year degree,” Montgomery stated.

Montgomery, a retired hospital administrator, was one of the first 50 people inducted into the Healthcare Supply Chain Professionals International Hall of Fame.  “If you really want to advance yourself, change the world a little bit, care about God and goodness, you have to be involved, not sit on the sidelines.  If you give your time and talents to those in need, you gain much more than you give,” stated Montgomery in response to what advice he would give to students.  When asked what he would like his legacy to be, Montgomery said, “I want to be remembered as a good husband, father, grandfather, friend and Christian.  In addition, my work with the Project Perfect World Foundation and the Damian House in Guayaquil, Ecuador.”

Bob Becker, retired school administrator, from Stockton, KS, joined the NCK Tech Board of Trustees in November, 2019.  Becker became associated with NCK Tech 25 years ago when he was teaching.  After he became a school administrator, Becker continued to direct students, who were not interested in attending a traditional college, towards NCK Tech, in order to establish a career path.  After retiring from education, Becker wanted to stay involved with helping students attain opportunities for a career.  “Being a part of the NCK Tech Board of Trustees has allowed me that opportunity,” stated Becker.

“Working with my fellow board members to help make NCK Tech a viable and opportunistic school for individuals looking to establish lifelong skills and a rewarding career,” Becker stated as to why he enjoys serving on the board. In regards to what he would like to be remembered for, Becker stated, “That I was respectful and mindful of others. That I was a goal oriented person who looked for the best in others and worked to help individuals attain their highest potential.” If Becker could be any animal he would be a wolf because they like to be with others, are respectful of others in their group, resourceful, and most importantly, do not call attention to themselves, but can be aggressive when warranted. “Be where your feet are, do your best in any situation, take care of the things that you can control and do not stress over the things that you cannot control,” was Becker’s response to the best advice he has ever received.

Lance Smith, Facility Services Director at Hays Medical Center, Hays, KS, joined the NCK Tech Board of Trustees in November, 2019.  “Former board member Kevin Stramel is my neighbor. When he was stepping down from the board he mentioned the possibility of serving. In addition, Dale Montgomery was my boss at HaysMed before his retirement and he also approached me about serving on the board. I was happy to apply and lucky to be selected,” Smith said in regards to why he chose to join the board.

Smith’s favorite part of serving on the board is, “learning all the systems and procedures that are involved with education. I continually look for new ways to gain knowledge and skills. I also enjoy seeing others grow.”  Smith adores the holidays with his Halloween display bringing in over 500 Trick-or-Treaters yearly to his house. The display that he assembles each Christmas takes over 70 hours to set up. In addition, he rides regularly on a motorcycle and has logged over 100,000 miles in the last 12 years.

Positions on the NCK Tech Board of Trustees are by application only and are completely volunteer. The time and dedication to our campuses in both Beloit and Hays are commendable by these individuals. Their work and legacies will be forever remembered.